Opinion: Leadership lacking from Asian banks on coal plant lending

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Asia Times:So far, 2018 has seen seven banks dominant in Southeast Asia either release or update their policies related to coal, the single-biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. This number is soon to rise, with Standard Chartered in the final stages of preparing its own coal lending policy update.The decisions of Southeast Asia’s major banks will have a huge bearing on the region’s energy future. And the energy future of Southeast Asia will have a huge bearing on the future of the global climate.Public and private banks can literally make or break an energy project when deciding what to finance. This critical role and heightened scrutiny of institutions that also handle the money of hundreds of millions of people has led to banks declaring where they stand on coal power.Sadly, though, most of the announcements we have seen this year amount to little more than window-dressing.Take Singapore’s three major banks, DBS, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB). All have produced policies that claim to exclude the most polluting coal power plants. But by setting the bar so low, their policies don’t even apply to the projects they are currently in line to finance, meaning that in effect, nothing changes.To their credit, several financial institutions have gone much further. In May, Daiichi Life Insurance announced it would not provide project financing for all new overseas coal-fired power projects. Then in July Nippon Life Insurance decided to halt funding to all new coal-fired power generation projects. Also in July, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank stated that it would stop providing project finance for new coal-fired power stations.But among banks, there is a major leadership void. Step in Standard Chartered. The bank’s new coal policy is an opportunity to set a new tone among its peers, and invest in a way that respects people’s rights to not just clean air and water, but the chance of a safe climate future.More: The power of finance to slow new coal plants Opinion: Leadership lacking from Asian banks on coal plant lendinglast_img read more

Andy Murray ends drought against Novak Djokovic with Montreal win

first_imgAndy Murray ended a long drought against Novak Djokovic when he beat the Serbian 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a draining final of the Rogers Cup on Sunday.The British right-hander ended an eight-match, 25-month losing streak against Djokovic and improved from third to second in the world rankings. He had not beaten the world number one since the 2013 Wimbledon final.Djokovic, who lost for just the fourth time this year, had won 12 consecutive Masters Series finals since he fell to Roger Federer in Cincinnati in 2012.Murray and Djokovic embraced at the net after a three-hour battle of attrition that left them exhausted as courtside temperatures reached 40C.”Everybody wants me and Novak to dislike each other and people always try to stir things up between us,” Murray, 28, said in a courtside interview.Also read: Djokovic retains No.1 position in latest rankings”It’s impossible to be extremely close when we’re playing in these sorts of matches because it’s so mentally challenging and physically demanding and you need to try to still have that competitive edge as well. “But it’s not easy, not only because we get on but because he’s bloody good, he’s number one in the world and he hasn’t lost in a Masters Series this year. To win against him is extremely tough.” Murray made the decisive break in the second game of the final set but it was not all plain sailing after that, as he survived an 18-minute fifth game to hold serve and take a 4-1 lead en route to his third title on the Canadian hardcourts, and first since 2010.advertisement”We’ve played many matches like that, especially in grand slams,” Murray said. “If this was the U.S. Open, we’d have to play another couple of sets like that, which isn’t easy.”He’s obviously one of the best returners in the world and he obviously has a lot of confidence to stand and fight right to the end, so you have to play right to the end of the match and weather the storms when they come, and I managed to that today.”The vanquished Djokovic said sub-par serving had cost him the match.”Andy is deservedly a winner today on the court,” he said.”I thought what made the difference was his serve and my serve. I didn’t serve well the first set and a half.”But not taking anything away from him, from his victory. He deserved it. He stepped in, played some great shots. Most of all the moments when he needed to, he served very, very well.”last_img read more

Green leader wins his partys firstever seat in Ontario legislature

first_imgTORONTO – A speck of green appeared on a map otherwise dominated by orange and blue Thursday night as Mike Schreiner made history by winning his Green party’s first-ever seat in the Ontario legislature.The American-born politician handily won in his Guelph riding with 45 per cent of the vote, ushering in what he hopes is a new era for his party.“If we look at the success of Green parties in other provinces, it always starts with one leader being elected,” he said, pointing to British Columbia and Prince Edward Island as examples.“When people see elected Greens in action, they see that we do politics differently …they want to elect more Greens.”In the 2014 election, Schreiner, who’s led the provincial Greens since 2009, finished third, just 1.5 percentage points behind the Progressive Conservative candidate, who was not running this time, and ahead of the NDP.The incumbent, prominent Liberal Liz Sandals, also did not run.While Schreiner has won this initial fight, he noted that he may face an uphill battle for the next four years as he contends with a Progressive Conservative majority government that has vowed to eliminate Ontario’s cap-and-trade system.In his victory speech in Guelph, Schreiner had a message for Doug Ford: “You believed that climate change was real, and people were causing it,” he told supporters. “And so you better listen to the Green MPP from Guelph about how we solve the climate crisis.”Asked what he’d say if Ford does indeed come calling, Schreiner laughed.“Well first of all, I’m going to talk about just how important it is to embrace the clean economy,” he said. “I think Guelph is leading in that and I want my community to continue in job creation in a clean economy — that’s where growth is globally.”He noted that Guelph will be his priority once he gets to Toronto — his former home.Schreiner was born and raised in a farm in Kansas, but he moved north in 1994 to Canada when his wife became a professor at the University of Toronto. He moved to Guelph a few years ago after working in the southwestern Ontario city for years.“This is literally people-powered change,” he said following his win. “We’ve had over 500 volunteers working on this campaign. They’re just passionate, they’re committed and they want to create a more liveable future for our children and grandchildren.”last_img read more