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Critics take aim at China’s coal plant financing in Belt and Road Initiative

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:China will host a trillion-dollar investment summit this weekend amid rising concerns that its funding of overseas coal projects could swamp efforts to keep global warming to less than 1.5C. The Belt and Road forum, which opens on Friday in Beijing, has been billed by climate campaigners as a pivotal moment that will determine whether China uses its vast financial weight to nudge the world towards renewable energy or continues to promote expansion by its fossil fuel companies.In recent years Chinese banks have become the lenders of last resort for coal projects in south Asia, Africa and the Balkans that the World Bank and other international institutes have refused to fund because this dirtiest of fuels is the primary source of carbon emissions from electricity generation.Although China has won kudos for trying to clean up its environment by cutting dependence on coal, its companies are making up for lost business at home by expanding overseas. Most of their funding comes from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China says the BRI, which was launched by the president, Xi Jinping, in 2013, accelerates development in many of the world’s poorest countries and builds trade routes that benefit the global economy.Critics say it is a tool to project geopolitical power, suck up overseas resources and vent the excess capacity of a slowing domestic economy, particularly in the steel, construction and power industries. From an environmental perspective, the primary concern is that Beijing is exporting a highly polluting model of growth.Coal is likely to be at the centre of the debate. China’s banks have earmarked $36bn for 102 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity in 23 countries, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Last year two-fifths of the country’s overseas investment was reportedly spent on this dirty energy.The biggest recipient, with $7bn, is Bangladesh, where China is vying for influence with Japan, South Korea and India. All four countries are building thermal plants in Bangladesh. Last year China Huadian Hongkong Company Limited signed a deal with a local partner to build a 1,320-megawatt plant at Moheshkhali island.More: Belt and Road summit puts spotlight on Chinese coal funding Critics take aim at China’s coal plant financing in Belt and Road Initiativelast_img read more

Fifth French pension fund vehicle granted regulatory go-ahead

first_imgInstitution de Prévoyance Austerlitz, one of France’s so-called provident institutions, has been given regulatory approval to set up an occupational pension fund.The number of these vehicles has been growing slowly since they were made possible by a 2016 law, with IP Austerlitz the fifth benefit provider to obtain authorisation from ACPR, the supervisor for banks and insurance entities.Aviva got the ball rolling in late 2018, followed last year by Malakoff Médéric and Sacra, while the provident institution in the Banque Populaire group got the green light in November for the creation of its own vehicle.Generally known as “fonds de retraite professionelle supplémentaire” (FRPS), the vehicles are France’s version of a pension fund and were made possible by 2016 legislation known as “loi Sapin”. The idea is to allow different categories of insurance entities to transfer portfolios out from under the Solvency II regulatory framework to a regulatory framework combining elements of the IORP Directive and Solvency II, but not the latter’s capital charges and certain other requirements.As a result of the creation of these new vehicles this year for the first time there was French participation in the pension fund stress tests carried out by EIOPA.The EU pensions supervisor identified Aviva Retraite Professionnelle, MM Retraite Supplémentaire, Société Anonyme de Consolidation des Retraites de l’Assurance (Sacra) as the participating IORPs from France.last_img read more

Fairytale auction ending for Gold Coast cottage inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk

first_imgThe new owners of 5A Magnetic Drive, Tamborine Mountain, hope to live happily ever after.MAGIC beans weren’t traded to secure the keys to a Jack and the Beanstalk-inspired cottage but it was a fairytale ending to a competitive auction. Seven bidders vied for the keys of the enchanting cottage in the Hinterland, which was built by an English author. A drawn-out auction where 21 bids were placed saw the hammer fall at $655,000 for the property at 5A Magnetic Drive, Tamborine Mountain. MORE NEWS: New top sale notched for Coast “If you buy a new house they have no character. This is a one-off, you won’t get anything else like this,” Mr Mudie said when the property hit the market. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“Mt Tamborine is really nice, I look down at the Gold Coast and see the sunrise and on certain days of the year the moon comes up and lights up the South Pacific and it becomes an inky black colour.” A Brisbane-based buyer secured the keys. It is affectionately known as Foh Fum Cottage.The property has two titles, one of which the couple will build their next home on.“We are not moving off the mountain, I never got round to building the second property so we will sell this and build the next one,” Mr Mudie said.“We will probably make it an alpine log cabin — a totally different take.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:40Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:40 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenOpen for inspection etiquette for buyers00:41 The cottage, inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk, sold under the hammer for $655,000.Investors, locals and house hunters from Brisbane and the Gold Coast all showed interest in the two-bedroom house. Harcourts Scenic agent Tom Van, who sold the property alongside Eli Van, said it was an action packed auction day. “It was a mad house, it was all going on,” he said. “There was a sausage sizzle, coffee, champagne and balloons out.“It (the auction) went for a while because at one point bidding stalled as a phone bidder came in and they ended up buying it.” Mr Van said the Brisbane-based buyers planned on moving into the property in the future and hoped to live happily ever after. The property was owned by author William Andrew Mudie and his wife Lynne. Seven parties registered to bid at the auction.The property, called Foh Fum Cottage, was built by engineer and writer William Andrew Mudie. The author’s cottage has been home to Mr Mudie and his wife Lynne for the past two decades, with four of his books produced there. Mr Mudie’s books, The Foh Fum Legends, follow the real stories behind fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. MORE NEWS: More Coast properties selling at a profit last_img read more