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Economy

First Green Exchange Launched In Luxembourg

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The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) has become the first global stock exchange to bring in a platform for green financial instruments.

Branded Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), it goes live today. Access is limited to issuers who comply with stringent eligibility criteria. The platform aims to set a new benchmark for the rapidly evolving green securities market.

Commenting on the launch of LGX, Robert Scharfe, CEO of LuxSE, said: “New issuance of green securities has taken off since COP21.

There is a real desire for change.

The green market has enormous potential but this needs to be matched by interest from investors. By setting strict standards for green securities, LGX aims to create an environment where the market can prosper. The upcoming COP22 event will focus on preparations for the Paris Agreement to enter into force. With LGX, a dedicated platform for both issuers and investors, we are granting the solution for financing green projects.”

Only 100% green

LGX gathers issuers that dedicate 100% of the raised funding to green investments. The platform goes live today. It will immediately become home to the majority of the 114 green bonds listed on LuxSE, worth over $45 billion. LGX marks the first time that a stock exchange requires green securities to adhere to strict eligibility criteria, including:

· Self-labelling as green or equivalent (e.g. climate-aligned). The issuer has to clearly state, during the application process, the intended green nature of the security.

· Use of proceeds. Need of a clear disclosure that the proceeds are exclusively used for financing or refinancing projects that are 100% green, according to the GBP[1] or CBI[2] eligibility taxonomy.

· Ex-ante review and ex-post reporting. Issuer’s commitment to provide both independent external review and ex-post reporting– a requirement unprecedented on the market.

 

Green Bonds Listed on LuxSE

Setting standards

“Ex-post reporting is far from being the market standard. The bold decision to introduce it as an entry requirement stems from our ambition to be able to guarantee that securities on LGX are genuinely green. Such reassurance is what investors seek as they increasingly expect issuers to be crystal clear about the use of proceeds,” the CEO added. Access to LGX is banned for securities on the excluded categories list comprising of, but not limited to: nuclear power production; trade in CITES; animal testing for cosmetics and other non-medical products; medical testing on endangered species; fossil fuels.

The LGX concept has been developed in line with best practices set out by Climate Bonds Initiative, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). LGX has its own logo – a colour variation of the standard LuxSE trademark. “An issuer who does not meet LGX eligibility criteria can still list on our markets, but the ‘bar is higher’ for entry to LGX. Having said that, we encourage issuers to go further than the minimum requirements and really leverage this platform to create new standards on the quality of communication with investors,” Robert Scharfe added.

Green market is our duty

With over $42 billion in new issuances globally, 2015 was another record year for labelled green bonds. As estimated by the Climate Bonds Initiative, in 2016, the green bonds issuance will reach $100 billion. The already thriving green bonds sector received an additional boost after the COP21 conference in Paris last year during which 195 countries agreed on keeping the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. The International Energy Agency estimates that the world needs $1 trillion a year until 2050 to finance a low-emissions transition. The market for green finance is growing fast, and yet it represents an almost invisible fraction of overall capital market funding.

“That’s because investors are sceptical, and understandably so, about how the proceeds for green projects are being allocated. It’s not enough to say ‘green is green’. Investors are becoming more sophisticated and are demanding more granular information. Equally, issuers must be convinced of the benefits a truly green bond market can provide. In particular, the visibility for their securities and trust gained among investors,” noted Mr. Scharfe.

Rating Category of Green Bonds Globally

He said LuxSE aims to become the main centre for sustainable finance in Europe, and continued: “As the leading exchange for green bonds, LuxSE can play a vital role in shaping the future of green finance. In fact, we regard the development of this market as our duty. Users of international capital markets look to us to provide the best generally available information to investors. With respect to the green bond market, we are committing the same efforts to promote improved visibility by providing greater transparency and more trust.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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