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Month after breaking ties, Algeria finance body lifts banking restrictions on Spain

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Professional association of Banks and Financial Establishments (ABEF) in Algeria has revealed that it has lifted restrictions on banking operations for foreign trade with Spain.

The President of the Algerian-Spanish Circle of Commerce and Industry  who lauded the lifting of the restriction remarked that many Algerian companies had suffered from it, especially those which imported industrial and agri-food products.

Recall that Algeria in June severed a “friendship treaty and cooperation” it entered into with Spain in 2002 after Madrid altered its long-standing position on Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, to back Morocco’s autonomy project for the disputed colony.

The break ushered in direct debits for goods and services to and from Spain with the exception of gas supplies had been suspended since June 9. A position that has caused confusion among customs authorities who had been asking the Algerian government to clarify how to apply such restrictions on non-Spanish products transiting through Spain.

Algerian-Spanish relations are not strained by a direct territorial dispute like other North African countries like Morocco; there have been however discrepancies over the approach to the Western Sahara conflict. But the recent move to severe relationship with Spain has threatened to jeopardize relations with the European Union. It is hoped that things would straighten out with the lifting of the restriction.

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Nigeria, Egypt, S’Africa, other developing economies need $2tn annually to achieve net-zero emissions— IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated in a report released on Monday that emerging economies, some of which are African countries, would require about $2 trillion per year by 2030 to meet the target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

An emerging economy is a market that has some characteristics of a developed market but does not fully meet its standards; African countries like Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya are in this category.

The report “Emerging economies need much more private financing for climate transition”, pointed out that investing significantly in climate mitigation in emerging markets and developing economies, which currently emit about two-thirds of greenhouse gases, was necessary to achieve the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The report read in part:

“These countries will need about $2tn annually by 2030 to reach that ambitious goal, according to the International Energy Agency, with the majority of that funding flowing into the energy industry. This is a fivefold increase from the current $400bn of climate investments planned over the next seven years.

“We project that growth in public investment, however, will be limited and that the private sector will therefore need to make a major contribution toward the large climate investment needs for emerging market and developing economies.

“The private sector will need to supply about 80 per cent of the required investment, and this share rises to 90 per cent when China is excluded, as shown in an analytical chapter of our latest Global Financial Stability Report.”

Additionally, the report asserts that while China and other larger emerging economies have the necessary domestic financial resources, many other nations lack sufficiently mature financial markets that can provide significant amounts of private finance.

Phasing out coal power plants, the single largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions (about 20%), is another major challenge.

Meanwhile, some pan-African arguments have emerged in reaction to the calls to phase out existing energy sources, seeing it as a conspiracy against the continent’s use of energy for development after the sources had been adequately explored for developed economies.

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Despite protests, TotalEnergies gets South Africa’s approval for offshore drilling

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After turning down an appeal from more than a dozen people and lobbying organisations, South Africa’s environment ministry has approved TotalEnergies’ plans to drill for natural gas and oil offshore.

There have been a string of lawsuits seeking to stop energy companies from exploring new offshore discoveries at the foot of Africa, with a specific appeal to stop TotalEnergies from drilling in Blocks 5/6/7 off the coast of Cape Town.

The area in question is 10,000 square kilometres in size and is located offshore roughly between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas. It is 170 kilometres from the coast at its farthest point and 60 kilometres from the coast at its closest point. The water depth ranges from 700 metres to 3,200 metres.

Natural gas and crude oil production are quite limited in South Africa, and consequently, the bulk of South Africa’s crude oil is imported, as the country largely counts on its large coal resources.

The request is for the ministry to revoke the environmental authorization given to the French energy company by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in April, citing issues like marine noise, oil spills, climate change, and inadequate public consultation. But environment minister, Barbara Creecy on Monday dismissed the concerns in a 144-page ruling.

“I am therefore satisfied that the impacts of noise and light have been adequately assessed and mitigated to ensure low impacts on the receiving environment. As such this ground of appeal is dismissed,” Creecy said in the ruling.

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