Montek on UN advisory panel on climate-change financing

Montek Singh Ahluwalia is among 19 members chosen for a high-level advisory group on Climate Change Financing tasked with mobilising funds pledged during the Copenhagen meet to tackle global warming

India's deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, is among 19 members chosen by UN chief Ban Ki-moon for a high-level advisory group on Climate Change Financing tasked with mobilising funds pledged during the Copenhagen meet to tackle global warming, reports PTI.

Apart from Mr Ahluwalia, philanthropist George Soros and British academic Nicholas Stern are among the members of the body co-chaired by UK prime minister Gordon Brown and his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi.

President of the Republic of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo and Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg are also part of the group, whose other members include diplomats, bankers, businesspersons and philanthropists.

The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in December last year had failed to produce a legally-binding treaty.

Instead, it settled for the Copenhagen Accord, whose key elements included a limit of 2 degree rise in global temperature; $100 billion in long-term financing to developing countries and $30 billion in short-term financing to the poorest and most vulnerable nations.

There is still no clear mechanism for the actual collection and disbursement of this aid, but the next round of formal negotiations on the issue are scheduled for May in Bonn.

The advisory committee on Climate Change Financing is tasked with presenting a report to Mr Ban on the best way to collect and dispense this money, before the next big Climate Change meeting scheduled for the end of the year in Mexico.

The advisory group will have its first meeting on 29th March at London.

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    Government considering steps for reopening shut fertiliser units

    The government is importing urea for reviving seven sick fertiliser plants across the country, besides increasing the capacity of existing units

    The government is considering modalities for reopening several closed fertiliser units across the country, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Friday, reports PTI.

    "Urea is being imported for reviving sick fertiliser units. Seven plants are currently not functioning and the government has decided to revive them," minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers Srikant Jena said during the Question Hour.

    Mr Jena said that the government is also planning to increase the capacity of existing fertiliser units, and is also trying to convert their base from naphtha to gas.

    He said that the ministry is also considering adding a fourth unit at Namrup fertiliser plant in Assam, as its existing three units are not functioning.

    To another question, Mr Jena said that a joint venture company—KRIBHCO Shyam Fertiliser Ltd (KSFL)—had acquired a urea-ammonium plant of Oswal Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (OCFL) at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh in January 2006.

    The joint venture unit suffered a loss of Rs39.87 crore during 2008-09 though earlier it had reported net profit of Rs3.41 crore during 2005-06, Rs3.76 crore in 2006-07 and Rs0.57 crore in 2007-08, he added.


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    Banks to lend more to power projects; oil & gas may take a backseat

    During FY11, bank financing for power and steel segments would continue, while the oil & gas segment will take a backseat, say bankers

    FY10 witnessed bank finances going into power as well as the oil & gas segment. While the power sector would continue to attract more money in FY11, finances for the oil & gas segment are expected to slow down.

    “Last year, we had done a lot of financing in power and the oil & gas sector. Finance for power will continue, but oil & gas will reduce. Steel is another sector that will witness major financing,” said Vishal Gupta, vice president for project advisory and structured finance, SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBI Caps). SBI Caps is a major consortium leader in most of the projects across segments in India.

    The focus of bank finance is likely to shift away from the oil & gas segment, as most of the projects in this segment have already achieved financial closure. Ergo, during FY11, not much activity in terms of financing in expected in the oil & gas segment.

    “Finance in this segment will reduce because no new refineries are coming up. The Reliance group has already rolled out its refineries; HPCL Mittal Energy Ltd’s refinery at Bhatinda and the Bina Refinery Project have achieved financial closure. For FY11, there will not be a major bunch of deals coming up for financing. Every industry typically sees major orders coming up in every two to three years, it is a cyclical trend,” said Mr Gupta.

    Echoing the same, Ramesh Kelkar, deputy general manager, large corporate, Union Bank of India, said, “With us, there is no proposal pending, as of now there are no new projects coming to us for financing.”

    Mr Gupta also pointed out that there would be a thrust in the exploration segment for financing. “But it will be more focused on dollar financing, there will not be much to be done in rupee financing,” he added.

    However, more investments are likely to go into the oil & gas segment during FY12 as oil companies approach the production stage. “Those oil companies which are right now in the find (exploration stage) stage will require a huge amount of finance to get into production. But this may not happen in FY11, it might happen the next year,” Mr Gupta said.

    “Oil & gas exploration is still in the nascent stage in our country and the risk perception is high. The segment lacks the necessary boost required. There is also less clarity in the financial module. Lot of exploration is going to happen, so there is a scope for financing. In the exploration segment we will see some real action taking place in the next two to three years,” added Mr Kelkar.

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    Shadi Katyal

    1 decade ago

    Power is a necessity and we have shortage all round but if equal attention is not given to Oil and Gas resources what do we intend to run the power plants on Cow chips.
    Yesterday some one had an article that coal development will take 5 years and thus resources should be utilised some where else.
    Are we putting the horse before the car

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