UN: New global Panel for Water Issues

The United Nations and the World Bank have launched a High-Level Panel on Water Issues at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016.

– Achieving the water global goal would have multiple benefits, including laying the foundations for food and energy security, sustainable urbanization, and ultimately climate security” said the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in the press release.

This Panel will mobilize urgent action on the Sustainable Development Goal for water, sanitation and related targets. It is co-chaired by the President of Mauritius and the President of Mexico.

The panelists include also: Mary Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors, USA; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi, Japan;Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, Switzerland; and Amira Yahyaoui, Founder and Chair, Al Bawsala, Tunisia.


IMF: Global growth will be modest in 2016


According to managing director Christine Lagarde, International Moneraty Fund (IMF)  global growth in 2016 will be modest and uneven. She was speaking in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

– Global growth is estimated at 3.4% (it was 3.1% in 2015) and 3.6% in 2017. There is modest optimism but significant risks, she said according to the WEF press release.

The biggest risk issues are the downturn of the Chinese economy, oil prices and different monetary policies around the world.

Lagarde said the transition of the Chinese economy, moving from industry to services, from exports to the domestic market, and from investment to consumption is a massive undertaking.

According to IMF,  Europe’s economy is now in better shape at 1.5% growth, but Lagarde pointed to two major concerns: potential Brexit and the refugee crisis.

– If the refugee crisis is handled well and the integration process is conducted in a cohesive and organized way, it will be an upside for growth, she said.


Business Finance

How companies can switch to low carbon after Paris talks?

It is time to think about Paris climate agreement and how companies can start to implement towards low carbon economy. This short memo package will bring the simple elements into the agenda of sustainable actions.

First, lets bring the key points from Paris climate agreement: 

  • Temperature: nations are challenged to work towards 1,5 degree Celcius. 2 degree Celcius should be the maximun level
  • Fossil fuel goal: greenhouse gases from the burning fossil fuels must be equal to the level of planting trees and capturing carbon for permanent underground storage
  • Transparency: nations have to monitor the progress and report every five years starting in 2023 of the targets.

Secondly, what kind of climate actions?

  • Companies can define the climate change strategies and long-term targets for emission reductions goals
  • Companies can manage water and climate risk jointly
  • Companies can switch to renewable energy or take renewable energy certificates
  • Companies can follow the energy consumption in the supply chain
  • Companies can use new technology in order to gain better energy efficiency, automation, logistic and marketing. For example internet of things has great importance for mitigating climate change. And also robotics.
  • Companies can join different climate initiatives to get better understanding and follow up of different energy strategies, mixs and efficiency

Thirdly, why this is important?

According to NASA, last year 2015 was the warmest year ever and scientists say the world has warmed about 1 degree since the industrial revolution.

Business Tech

Intel: Focus on diversity globally – sport watch at the end of 2016

Intel (INTC) will focus more on diversity issues globally and to use conflict-free materials in its processors. The company CEO Brian Krzanick announced the targets during his keynote presentation at CES2016 in Las Vegas today.

– When Intel started its work to address conflict minerals and gaps in diversity and inclusion, we were told by many people that our goals were unrealistic and would be impossible to achieve,” Krzanich said. – Our collective efforts show that we can influence entirely new and different ways of doing business that also improve the human experience, he stressed.

The company also announced several interesting co-operations projects with leading industry brands that will use technology and data analytics to benefit people’s overall health, fitness and athletic performance. Intel announced plans to work with ESPN* and Red Bull Media House* to design Intel-powered solutions that empower athletes and bring amazing viewing experiences to life, and joint efforts with Oakley* to personalize and advance the tools people use to be more active.

– Oakley is the first Luxottica Group brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology. Engineered with Intel Innovation and crafted with Oakley’s high-quality design and materials, the smart eyewear is designed to provide runners, cyclists and workout enthusiasts with in-the-moment feedback and analytics, helping to track progress and improve real-time performance, according to the press release.

Announcements includes also the strategic partnership with New Balance running shoes, tailored with 3D and disclosed plans to develop a smart sport watch available for the 2016 holiday season.

Business Sports Tech

The future of auto at CES2016

PrintWhen I wrote about the same topic last year, I did not quess that so much would be happening in the auto industry. During the year for example the emission scandal in Volkswagen has been in the headlines, but also the self-driving and electric vehicles have been the main topics.

Maybe one of the reasons for this is, that automobiles are becoming more like mobile devices,

as Volkswagen´s (VW) keynote speaker Dr. Herbert Diess, member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG,  very good put it in his presentation in Las Vegas today.

The word largest consumer electronics fairs CES will gather around 150.000- 170.000 attendees during the show in Las Vegas this week. Also this has changed to be one of the main events for automakers as digital services and internet of things will change the driving totally.  There are more than 115 automotive tech companies in the exhibition, up 25 percent from a year earlier.

According to Consumer Technology Association internet of things will drive consumer tech industry to 287 billion dollars in revenues in the US.

One of the interesting things in the Volkswagen presentation was the future of automated driving. They have reinvented the Budd-e, now electric car, with direct connections to your home, kitchen devices and for example the doorbell. The company is also embedding environmental technology inside the car. Volkswagen´s partner in the home devices is LG. This long-distance, future zero-emission car will be ready for consumers at the end of decade.

– The world premiere of the BUDD-e shows the next step towards the mobility of the future. Its newly developed electric drive enables a driving range of up to 533 kilometers (NEDC) / 233 Miles (EPA estimated real-world driving range). One of its highlights is the charging cycle. It is possible to charge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity within just around 30 minutes, the company said in the press release.

During his presentation Dr. Diess told the audience several times, that the company is truly sorry and apologize the scandal. – We are working night and day in order to fix the 11 million cars, of which 8,5 in Europe, he continued.

The company also launched a new electric Golf-car, with more intelligence and voice commands inside the car. The selling will start later this year and one feature is that there is no buttons in the panel.

The company share price has fallen by 42,11 percent from June 2015 due to the emission scandal in the US and Europe.

Business Tech

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition reached to 600 billion dollars AUM

The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition reached to 600 billion dollars assets under management (AUM) durign the Paris Climate Talks. As the Paris talks ended with the ambition to limit the temperature rise to 1,5 degree, the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition exceeded six times its orginial target of 100 billion dollars AUM. The new signatories are big institutional investors: Allianz and ABP.

– More and more companies and states will incorporate climate change considerations – they are going to address physical climate risks, they want to reduce emissions and they have to reflect regulatory needs and developments,“ Mr Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz said in the press release.

– We will anticipate these risks and opportunities. Allianz’s climate and decarbonization actions will include the phasing out of coal investments, the use of environmental, social and governance scoring in investment decisions across its portfolio of own investments, and scaling up its investments in renewable energy, he continued.

The Coalition was co-founded by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the fourth National pension fund of Sweden, AP4, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi and CDP in September 2014.


Business Finance