New Lord Mayor Of London Hails Maturity Of Gulf Economies

By Alex Whiteman

Maturation of Gulf states’ economies presents additional alternatives to deepen the connection between the area and the UK, the brand new Lord Mayor of the Metropolis of London advised Arab Information earlier than departing for COP28 within the UAE.

Only a few weeks into the function and Michael Mainelli was readily available, like his predecessor, to witness one more British Cupboard reshuffle.

However with the return to frontline politics of former Prime Minister David Cameron, Mainelli is optimistic that this can additional strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia, one in all a number of Gulf states to have introduced participation in a £30 billion ($37.9 billion) funding pledge into the UK.

“Relating to that funding it’s enormously welcome, however what I believe is nice is it exhibits how Saudi and different Gulf states have actually matured their economies,” Mainelli stated.

“They’ve gotten a greater understanding of what they need to obtain with their sovereign wealth funds past simply investments and returns, and that features data switch. That’s actually thrilling because it gives two-way transference between us and them,” he added.

“With Cameron’s appointment (as international secretary), you get undoubted international coverage experience, together with within the Gulf, which I believe will show a great transfer and assist deepen connections with Saudi Arabia.”

Pushing the concept of London as a “hub of connectivity” seems central in Mainelli’s year-long tenure, which he stated he’s serving below the theme “Connect with Prosper.”

Requested the place the Gulf figures on this, he replied: “The Lord Mayor usually spends 100 days touring annually. Of this, three weeks might be in North America, three in Asia, after which a smattering of different nations.

“After which, apparently, the Lord Mayor will usually spend two weeks of journey across the Gulf annually. This exhibits you simply how necessary it’s as a vacation spot, being proper up there with Asia and North America.”

COP28 in Dubai has been designed with a strict give attention to carbon, which performs into Mainelli’s “private ambition.”

Whereas he can be “getting into with an open thoughts,” he stated he would additionally use the occasion to revive curiosity within the notion of voluntary carbon markets, which first emerged throughout COP3 in Kyoto in 1997.

“I consider there’s much more work to be finished relating to carbon markets … however we do must get these to work,” he added.

“The preliminary thought was to have emission buying and selling permits and companies paid to take away carbon from the environment — usually this might contain planting bushes or seagrass — with the concept being we scale back our environmental affect by taking it out of the environment.

“Nevertheless it turned topic to loads of points, starting from the problem of measuring to making sure the carbon was sequestered correctly, and admittedly additionally problems with fraud and corruption.”

Regardless of the preliminary difficulties, Mainelli stays satisfied that it’s a possible and sensible resolution to lowering carbon ranges within the environment.

“It’s simply the market hasn’t been absolutely fashioned and the idea upon which costs are set not correctly calculated,” he stated.

Of explicit concern is what he described because the “remaining bit,” including: “Let’s say I pay you to for a ton of carbon offset a yr over a 25-year interval, which you comply with facilitate via the planting of a forest.

“Now let’s say having planted that forest, a hurricane hits and uproots the bushes, or there’s an avalanche, maybe there’s a parasite, and the bushes are destroyed, possibly the soil doesn’t permit them to develop, or possibly on the finish of the 25 years you merely chop the forest down.

“Had been any of those to occur, then nothing actually has been achieved. All that has occurred is you’ve deferred 25 years of emissions.”

For Mainelli, the answer to the problem and restitution of carbon markets as a software within the path to web zero resides within the “applicable use of insurance coverage,” which he stated would put a monetary impetus behind the concept and “drive clearer, tougher requirements.”

Of explicit pertinence, he famous, can be the truth that insurers wouldn’t insure carbon seize websites with out having performed “ample due diligence.”

Insurers “would crawl throughout whoever was planning to arrange one in all these carbon seize websites, they usually’d need to know what bushes have been getting used, the place seeds have been sourced,” he stated.

“They’d survey the bottom, they’d ask why it was positioned on the base of a mountain. They’d do all this, and never solely would they insure the location, they’d be constructing data.”

This, stated Mainelli, can be pivotal as that elevated understanding would serve to enhance the means and strategies of carbon seize deployed in these carbon markets, resulting in standardization.

It’s “pretty evident” that the Gulf is decided to seek out workable options to deal with the local weather disaster, he added.

“I spent per week earlier this yr in Abu Dhabi, and likewise spent per week final yr in Saudi, actually attempting to grasp the state of affairs on the bottom there, and I used to be extraordinarily impressed on the dedication to web zero in each nations and in different areas,” he stated.

Pointing to the 25 substantial hydrogen initiatives in place within the UAE and the 40 Saudi Arabia has within the pipeline, Mainelli stated there may be a gap for nearer ties with the Metropolis of London.

Whereas improvement of hydrogen manufacturing would all the time be of curiosity, he stated there may be additionally motive to contemplating the creation of a ample transport mechanism for getting this hydrogen out into the world. This, he added, gives “nice potential for collaboration.”