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Battle brews over short-term energy investment plans in Puerto Rico

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The number of jurisdictions pursuing a goal of 100 percent renewables keeps growing. Puerto Rico looks to be next, with a late November plan from the island’s governor and a proposal before the legislature both calling for 100 percent renewables by 2050. In October, a diverse group of clean energy advocates also published a proposal, “Queremos Sol,” that outlines a path to all-renewables by the same year.Agreement on the territory’s energy system seems to have coalesced around a renewable portfolio standard and timeline. “I can’t think of any entity that’s said it’s opposed to 100 percent renewables by 2050. That certainly is progress,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which contributed to the Queremos Sol report. “That’s a consensus that didn’t exist before the hurricane.”It’s taken months to get to this point. And while the long-term vision seems to have been clarified, stakeholders remain divided on short-term goals. “What the problem is, and what we need to be careful about, is how different organizations and groups propose to get there,” said Ruth Santiago, a lawyer at local environmental group Comité Diálogo Ambiental and a contributor to the Queremos Sol report.In its August fiscal plan, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said it was looking to convert some plants to burn natural gas and that it would cost $500 million to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal. When the utility’s current CEO, José Ortiz, came aboard, he said natural gas would support a future with more renewables. PREPA did not respond to requests for comment about the proposed RPS, but in its fiscal plan the utility lays out a path to a generation mix in 2023 that’s 32 percent solar and wind and 41 percent gas.The group of engineers, environmentalists and clean energy advocates who wrote the Queremos Sol proposal are pushing for integration of renewables now. Santiago said investing in natural gas in the short term might be “disastrous” and will likely impede investment in solar.“Renewable energy and storage technologies are available now,” said Kunkel. “And if your goal is to get to 100 percent renewables by 2050, you should start investing in them now. The most important challenges are going to be what investment decisions get made in the next few years. Most of Puerto Rico’s power plants are old and [need] to be replaced in any event. What they get replaced with really matters in terms of what type of fuel infrastructure you’re locking yourself into for the next several decades,” she added.More: Inside Puerto Rico’s quest for 100% renewables: A clash over natural gas Battle brews over short-term energy investment plans in Puerto Ricolast_img read more


PRI in Person: Stewardship, ESG policy, climate action

first_imgThe code was therefore modified to emphasise that asset owners needed engage more actively.In the UK, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is reviewing its stewardship code. It intends to ask “broad initial questions” about its approach to the review as part of a formal consultation on its corporate governance code that is due soon.Jen Sisson, senior investor engagement manager at the FRC, told the conference that the council was considering adding expectations relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to the corporate governance code. As the stewardship code is the counterpart to the latter, it was probable that it would also be amended to include provisions relating to ESG.  PRI group targets better policy The PRI is launching an expert policy network and looking for policy and regulatory affairs professionals connected to its signatories to join a “global policy reference group”.The group will be designed to allow the PRI and signatories to exchange information on policy and regulation and help “amplify” efforts to achieve clear policy frameworks that require responsible investment.Last year the PRI published a report arguing that much pension fund regulation concerning ESG was poorly designed and gave “weak signals”.Paris climate agreement commitmentsThe PRI and four regional investor climate networks have invited other investors to join an initiative to implement the commitment made in support of the climate change agreement reached at the UN conference in Paris in December 2015.Back then, more than 400 investors representing over $24trn (€20.4trn) signed the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, which committed them to work with investee companies to get them to minimise and disclose risks and maximise opportunities presented by climate change and changes in climate policy.The Climate Action 100+ initiative is designed to implement this commitment through collaborative investor engagement with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters.It is due to be officially launched later this year, and was the result of an idea put forward by Anne Simpson, investment director for sustainability at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to a spokesperson for one of the regional investor climate networks.The spokesperson said the engagement focus was not new, but that “the scale … to coordinate and scale up is”.“The 100 refers to the biggest corporate emitters,” she said. “The ‘plus’ is in the title because the focus list of companies is longer than that, to ensure we pick up companies that are important to investors for other reasons – such as their significance in a region or their exposure to physical climate risks.”Investors can join via the PRI or any of the investor climate networks making up the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change. Japan’s financial services regulator expects the country’s investors to start working together on engagement with companies, according to the deputy director of its corporate accounting and disclosure division.Speaking at the PRI in Person conference in Berlin this week, Amame Fujimoto said the Financial Services Agency’s (FSA) original stewardship code did not explicitly mention collaborative engagement, meaning some Japanese investors might have misunderstood it to not be permitted.The FSA’s first stewardship code was launched in 2014. It was revised this year to remedy certain perceived shortcomings, including that some investors were felt to be engaging with companies only on a superficial level.The Government Pension Investment Fund – the biggest pension fund in the world at ¥149.2trn (€1.1trn) – was active in this regard, but many Japanese pension funds were not, according to Fujimoto.last_img read more


Fmr GMC Manager, co-conspirator slapped with fraud charges

first_imgForensic AuditsThe plethora of forensic audits that had been ordered by Head of State, President David Granger, has claimed its first victim, Nizam Hassan, former General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) who was on Monday slapped with fraud-related charges, He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Former General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), Nizam Hassan and co-accused Felicia De’Souza-Madramootoo were on Monday slapped with fraud related charges when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrates’ CourtsHassan, who currently holds the portfolio of General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board, and a female co-accused, Felicia De’Souza-Madramootoo, 34, were on Monday charged in what has been described as a multimillion-dollar fraud.The woman’s husband Hanniel Madramootoo, a project engineer within the Agriculture Ministry, his brother Philip and friend Nizam Ramkisson both Directors of Constantine Engineering and Construction Limited of Trinidad and Tobago were also jointly charged.Only Hassan and the female co-conspirator appeared in court and arrest warrants have since been issued for the others who are said to currently be in Trinidad and TobagoHassan and De’Souza-Madramootoo were charged with intent to defraud together with three others by continuously approving payments for substandard and faulty works during the rehabilitation of the Guyana Marketing Corporation building at Robb and Alexander Streets, Georgetown.Hassan and his co-accused were not required to plead to the indictable charge but were released on $250,000 bail each, and have been ordered to report at the headquarters of the Special Organised Crime Unit every Friday.The matter has been adjourned until December 7.During the course of the audit into the operations of New GMC it was found that based on the selection of three vouchers related to the construction of the GMC’s office building for testing, it was observed that incorrect building materials were used.Additional auditing procedures were deemed necessary and a request was made to have all payment vouchers made available for further testing.The Auditors said it was communicated by Owen Nestor, GMC’s accountant, that none of the other payment vouchers related to the construction of the GMC’s office building could be found.It was also communicated by Nestor that Hassan may have been the last person who had requested all of the payment vouchers of the construction. The Auditors had recommended that a determination needs to be made as to what level of disciplinary actions should be taken and that the board of directors should instruct GMC’s management to make every effort to locate the missing vouchers.The auditor in reporting on his findings to the Ministry of Finance had complained that the process was “deliberately frustrated by the non-response and non-commitment extended by Mr Nizam Hassan, GMC’s General Manager and the lack of commitment by GMC’s Accounting department’s staff.”It was found that many vouchers and back-ups were not provided, either on a timely basis or not at all: “My conclusion is that the accounting practice at GMC shows that the General Manager and the Accountant did not provide any meaningful fiduciary responsibility when any payment originated from the Minister of Agriculture or the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture.”“In other words, GMC’s General Manager and the Accountant acted more like rubber stamps when payments dealt with transactions originating from the Ministry of Agriculture,” the Auditor declared.last_img read more



Make sure you dog has a great time this Halloween by following a few simple steps.Dogs Trust, Ireland’s leading dog welfare charity, has reminded dog owners across Donegal to take caution and to look after their pets in the run up to Halloween this coming Saturday.The charity has warned that the celebrations and fun for children and adults this weekend can sadly have serious consequences for your pet dog.By following their top tips for dog safety over Halloween, you can ensure your dog is comfortable and safe throughout the event. Catriona Birt, Operations Manager with Dogs Trust says the most important safety tip we can give dog owners across the country this Halloween is to simply keep your dog indoors from early evening on the 31st and throughout the night.“This will ensure you are preventing a whole other range of challenging issues on the night like the risk of them munching on the wrong treats on the night, the loud noise outdoors and strange faces and costumes, which may cause your dog to react in a way they wouldn’t normally react.’In the wake of National Chipping Month and in the run up to the deadline for compulsory microchipping, Dogs Trust places huge emphasis on ensuring your dog is microchipped on dark and busy nights like Halloween, where the risk of your dog wandering away into new crowds is higher than ever. A microchip will give you and your dog the very best chance of reunification.Dogs Trust has issued some simple tips to help make the firework season less stressful for your four-legged friends; * Walk your dogs before it gets dark.* Keep the treats and sweets away. Give your dog a Kong, jam packed with tasty goodies, which will help keep them distracted. Chewing helps release endorphins for your dog, which in turn leaves them feeling much happier.* Turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out scary noises.* Be extra careful when opening the door as you dog may escape* Provide a safe hiding place indoors for your dog to rest. A nice cosy bed to cuddle up in or a crate where they can tuck themselves away in and relax. Make sure your dog has access to this place throughout the week so that they don’t feel too overwhelmed. * Don’t force your dog to wear fancy dress costumes. Dressing up can be frightening for your dog and remember that he/she might not be used to seeing you dressed up with a funny hat, or silly beard – so take caution not to frighten your dog with your attire.* Feed your furry friend before the fireworks begin, that way they can settle down for the evening without all the strange noises putting them off their food.* Distract your dog with their favourite toy. If you’re dog is acting a little anxious or appears stressed, try distract them with their favourite toy! Maybe it’s a rubber chicken, or a fluffy teddy – a fun experience will leave your dog with fond memories of Halloween, rather than memories of fear!DONEGAL DOG OWNERS WARNED ABOUT PREVENTING A ‘RUFF’ HALLOWEEN FOR PETS was last modified: October 27th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:dogsdonegalHalloween read more