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COP28: The Rockefeller Foundation, ACEN Corporation, Monetary Authority of Singapore Partner to Explore Phasing Out Coal Plant in Philippines

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  • The Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI), a consortium of global experts, receives high-level endorsement from Philippines’ ACEN to begin exploring the world’s first coal-to-clean pilot project in the Philippines, supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • CCCI is already actively engaging with sovereign buyers of credits under the Paris Agreement, with support from the COP28 Presidency
  • Meanwhile CCCI submits “transition credits” draft methodology for review ahead of its public consultation, launching Monday December 4 2023, following five public stakeholder consultations
  • The draft methodology will enable funding from carbon markets to accelerate a just coal-to-clean energy transition in emerging economies, operationalizing the Paris Agreement

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI), which has support from The Rockefeller Foundation, announced a new collaboration with ACEN Corporation to explore a pilot project in the Philippines that would leverage carbon finance to phase out a coal-fired power plant and replace it with renewable energy, while supporting livelihoods of vulnerable people. This first-of-its-kind project will seek to inform plans for the CCCI to help phase out coal plants around the globe in line with the Paris Agreement. CCCI and ACEN are working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to advance the potential project.

“If the world does not break its overreliance on coal, current and planned coal-fired power plants will release 273 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their operational lifetimes and trigger a catastrophe for our planet and the people living on it,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. “To retire coal plants, avoid those emissions, and create jobs, we need to create the right incentives for asset owners and communities and mobilize additional finance. This innovative CCCI agreement will pilot a coal-to-clean credit methodology in the Philippines, one critical step toward breaking that overreliance and building a better future.”

The project, the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) coal plant, would become the world’s first coal-fired power plant to leverage carbon credits to enable its early decommissioning. While financial tools are already in place to support the early retirement of coal-fired power plants and their replacement with clean power, these are challenging to deploy in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). The partners will explore the viability of an early retirement and repurpose the plant towards cleaner energy options as early as 2030, a decade ahead of its current retirement date. 

Launched in June 2023, CCCI’s ‘coal-to-clean’ credits will aim to incentivize a just transition away from coal plants to clean energy in EMDEs, while also generating funding to support just transition plans that would invest in routes to new employment, entrepreneurship, and reskilling for workers in communities that have traditionally relied on the fossil fuel economy for their livelihoods. 

“Today’s development marks a critical contribution to accelerating a global energy transition. Without a rapid and proactively managed transition away from coal-fired power, the world will not meet its climate goals; the urgency of solving this problem cannot be understated. ACEN is proud to be working with The Rockefeller Foundation’s Coal to Clean Credit Initiative and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to develop this world-first project,” said Eric Francia, President & CEO of ACEN Corporation, which has ~4,500 megawatt (MW) of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, with a renewable share that is among the highest in the region.

CCCI is also helping countries to work together and raise their climate ambitions through the growth of regulated carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.

“The economics of phasing out coal fired power plants are challenging. There is a need for effective market-based financing solutions, including the use of transition credits to improve the economic case of retiring these plants early and we are pleased to collaborate with ACEN Corporation and Climate Smart Ventures to pilot the use of CCCI’s methodology. Through the pilot transactions that MAS has convened, we hope to road-test and learn from different approaches that can catalyze the use of high-integrity transition credits to support the early retirement of coal plants on a significantly larger scale,” said Gillian Tan, Assistant Managing Director and Chief Sustainability Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore

CCCI is working with the COP28 Presidency to secure interest and engagement from more sovereign buyers and gain high-level interest from power producers in EMDEs, making the first use of ‘transition credits’ a nearer-term reality.

The work on the pilot is subject to CCCI’s project methodology being approved by Verra, a leading global carbon standard, the conclusion of the public consultation, and its application to the pilot project. The methodology enables organizations seeking to develop bespoke coal-to-clean energy projects that prioritize the needs of local communities, and issue transition credits to global buyers.

Once finalized after the consultation, launched today and running from December 4 2023 to January 16 2024, CCCI’s methodology would be expected to facilitate one of the first transactions of transition credits in the global carbon markets, either for voluntary use or compliance purposes. As such, it would help with the operationalization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement while supporting sovereign efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

“The transition from coal-to-clean energy in emerging markets is stuck,” added Dr. Joseph Curtin, Managing Director of the Power and Climate team at the Rockefeller Foundation. “We need new solutions that can support the retirement of a fleet of coal fired power plants across the globe. Today’s announcement could be the first of many, if we can prove it’s possible, which we hope to do next year.”

Supportive Statements

  • “The CCCI’s exploratory work to phase out coal-fired power plants and replace them with renewable energy is to be commended. If successful, this work will play an important role in keeping 1.5C within reach. The use of this innovative market-based mechanism also provides a potential new pathway to support emerging and developing nations to transition to a more secure and efficient energy future.” His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President
  • “PLN is fully committed to accelerating the energy transition towards greener energy to ensure a better future for the next generations. PLN has put great effort to decarbonize by cancelling 13.3 GW of planned CFPP, terminating power purchase agreement of 1.3 GW CFPP and halting new development of CFPP. One of our main focuses has been coal phase down, this extraordinary initiative requires international support, one of the concrete examples is through collaboration with CCCI. We are in full support to CCCI, and willing to utilize the carbon methodology and develop the carbon project once it is ready”, says Darmawan Prasodjo, PLN CEO
  • “Monetizing emission reductions from phasing out coal-fired power plants and replacing them with clean power is likely to be instrumental in supporting the financial viability of coal transition mechanisms in emerging markets,” said Barbara Buchner, Global Managing Director of Climate Policy Initiative. “However, such carbon credits must reflect real and verifiable emissions reductions, and need to support a just transition for affected workers and communities. CPI is pleased to be supporting this work to ensure that it has high integrity and prompts an equitable transition.”
  • “Transitioning Asia out of its dependence on coal fired power urgently requires a diverse set of solutions carefully designed for the realities of the region but deployed to achieve high-integrity results that deliver real-world emissions reductions. As a strong advocate of ‘learning-by-doing’, Climate Smart Ventures is ready to support this pioneering initiative among our partners CCCI, MAS and ACEN to identify and model suitable use cases where transition credits can be right-sized to incentivize Asia’s power portfolio owners to raise and execute their coal to clean ambitions in the shortest time possible,” says Lawrence Ang, Managing Partner of Climate Smart Ventures

Notes to Editors

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on X @RockefellerFdn.

About the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI)

The Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI) is a consortium of global experts, led by The Rockefeller Foundation and supported by the Climate Policy Initiative and South Pole. RMI (founded as Rocky Mountain Institute) provided technical support for the creation of the draft methodology. The consortium is focused on ensuring that CCCI’s methodology is established according to the highest level of environmental integrity, technical best-practice, and credible, cross-societal stakeholder engagement.

The draft methodology, currently under review by Verra, has been developed in a transparent and inclusive manner over the past 18-months, with input from a technical advisory group of leading experts, and considering real-world cases that are most suitable for the generation of coal-to-clean credits. CCCI has already hosted five global and local consultations (two in Indonesia) on earlier versions of the methodology, where it received buy-in from a cross-section of energy market participants, NGOs, and civil society organizations. The draft methodology will invite two rounds of public comment through a consultation process led by Verra in 2024.

CCCI aims to set a new benchmark for carbon-financed coal transition projects, accelerating the managed and equitable phase-out of coal-fired power plants while incentivizing their replacement with clean power. By providing a nearer-term opportunity at a project level, CCCI’s methodology can align with jurisdictional approaches and incentives for system-level decarbonization if they are introduced.

At the forefront of the methodology is the recognition that workers and communities will require investment and support to manage the coal-to-clean transition. To this end, CCCI’s methodology will require that a share of carbon revenue is reserved to meet the needs outlined in a project-level just transition plan and ensure communities are not left behind.

CCCI’s project approach recognizes that coal-fired power plants are strategic assets operating within a national power system, and that their accelerated retirement requires careful consultation with local and federal/national authorities and a consideration and evaluation of  potential system-wide impacts. CCCI will also be intentionally designed to integrate with existing and future compliance and voluntary markets.

For this reason, CCCI complements other carbon market and public climate finance initiatives that are focused on delivering this same ambition, while working on an accelerated transition timeline. For example, CCCI can help to unlock the private financing needed for larger-scale initiatives, such as Just Energy Transition Partnerships. It can also promote broader carbon market development, by growing the supply of high-integrity credits and setting clear standards for buyers.

CCCI will continue to share expertise with stakeholders and other coal transition initiatives, including carbon standards, international finance institutions, and other organizations working on financial mechanisms. CCCI will continue to engage with stakeholders in developing this new benchmark for coal-to-clean projects.

About the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is Singapore’s central bank and integrated financial regulator. As a central bank, MAS promotes sustained, non-inflationary economic growth through the conduct of monetary policy and close macroeconomic surveillance and analysis. As an integrated financial supervisor, MAS fosters a sound financial services sector through its prudential oversight of all financial institutions in Singapore and financial market infrastructures. It is responsible for well-functioning financial markets, sound conduct, and investor education. MAS also works with the financial industry to promote Singapore as a dynamic international financial center.

In September 2023, MAS and McKinsey & Company jointly published a working paper that sets out how high-integrity carbon credits can be utilized as a complementary financial instrument to accelerate and scale the early retirement of coal-fired power plants (CFPPs). The paper considers the use of Transition Credits, which are high-integrity carbon credits generated from the emission reduced through retiring a CFPP early and replacing it with clean energy sources, to reduce the economic gap for early retirement of CFPPs.

To further develop the approach and establish solutions for Transition Credits to be utilized as a viable market solution, MAS launched the Transition Credits Coalition (TRACTION) MAS also collaborated with partners to test the feasibility of integrating transition credits for early CFPP retirement through pilot projects. For more details, please refer to https://www.mas.gov.sg/development/sustainable-finance/transition-credits

About ACEN

ACEN (PSE:ACEN) is the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group. The company has ~4,500 MW of attributable capacity from owned facilities in the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India, with a renewable share of 98%, which is among the highest in the region.

ACEN’s aspiration is to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with a goal of reaching 20 GW of renewables capacity by 2030. ACEN is committed to transition the company’s generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to become a Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.

https://www.acenrenewables.com

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Sinotruk leaping forward to become world-class technology enterprise

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JINAN, China, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On March 2, SinoTruk’s Science and Technology Innovation Award Annual Conference 2024 was grandly held, to recognize and rewarding major scientific and technological achievements and outstanding innovative talents since 2022, planning and deploying scientific and technological innovation work ahead. Tan Xuguang, Chairman and General Manager of Shandong Heavy Industry Group, Chairman of China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, attended the conference and delivered a report on scientific and technological innovative work – “Steadily stride forward, embracing change in science and technology”.

 

Over the past five years, Sinotruk has invested nearly RMB 15 billion in R&D, which is the sum of the previous 15 years. It has benchmarked against world-class standards and gradually established a full-process independent research and development system. Sinotruk technological strength has reached the forefront of the national industry. Sinotruk has reshaped the “Yellow River” heavy-duty trucks standard with technology, ranking first in China, and its high-tech indicators are leading the industry. The market share of heavy-duty trucks has increased from 16.5% in 2018 to 26% in 2023, ranking first in China for two consecutive years. In 2023, the export volume exceeded 130,000 vehicles for the very first time, a 2.6-fold increase compared to 5 years ago, making it the largest single-brand global export volume in the world.

Tan Xuguang called on all engineers to keep in mind their mission, be down-to-earth, persistent in innovation, and make long-term achievements through dedicated ten years of hard work. Learn from the global cooperation, grow and become talents through project training, and achieve through continuous value creation. Achieve your meaning in life, strive with vitality and passion while you are young. Let’s set off again for a better future for the century heavy truck industry and the world’s best heavy truck industry!

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Flash News: OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

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SINGAPORE, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — OKX, a leading Web3 technology company, has issued updates for March 2, 2024.

OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

OKX today announced the launch of its ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event,’ giving users who access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC) the opportunity to claim Babylon’s Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT. To qualify for a spot, users must access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC).

The event kicks off on February 28 and continues until March 6. Following the event, starting from March 7, participants who have been whitelisted will have the ability to mint their Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT using the OKX Wallet and their whitelisted address.

The process of participating in this event is straightforward and involves the following steps:

  1. Firstly, users will need to prepare by setting up their OKX and Keplr Wallets. These wallets will be crucial for interacting with the Babylon Testnet and the subsequent claiming of sBTC and BBN.
  2. Following the wallet setup, users can then claim the sBTC and BBN on Babylon’s Official Discord. These tokens will be needed for staking in the Babylon Testnet.
  3. Finally, users will need to access Babylon’s official website, where users can actively engage, stake their tokens and claim their whitelist spots.

Participation in the event offers a multitude of benefits. Users can engage actively with the Babylon Testnet, which in turn enhances their understanding of the Babylon protocol and its functionalities. Furthermore, participants contribute to the development and evolution of the Babylon protocol by being active users.

The ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event‘ is a result of OKX’s partnership with Babylon, a trustless Bitcoin staking protocol. The Bitcoin Pioneer Pass, Babylon’s first commemorative Non-Fungible Token (NFT), is a highlight of this event, representing a significant milestone for both OKX and Babylon.

For more information, please visit the OKX Support Center.

About OKX

A leading global technology company driving the future of Web3, OKX provides a comprehensive suite of products to meet the needs of beginners and experts alike, including:

  • OKX Wallet: The world’s most powerful, secure and versatile crypto wallet which gives users access to over 80 blockchains while allowing them to take custody of their own funds. The wallet includes MPC technology which allows users to easily recover access to their wallet independently, removing the need for traditional, ‘written down’ seed phrases. In addition, OKX Wallet’s account abstraction-powered Smart Account enables users to pay for transactions on multiple blockchains using USDC or USDT, and interact with multiple contracts via a single transaction.
  • DEX: A multi-chain, cross-chain decentralized exchange aggregator of 300+ other DEXs and approximately 15 bridges, with 200,000+ coins and more than 20 blockchains supported.
  • NFT Marketplace: A multi-chain, zero-fee NFT marketplace that gives users access to NFT listings across seven top-tier marketplaces including OpenSea, MagicEden, LooksRare and Blur.
  • Web3 DeFi: A powerful DeFi platform that supports earning and staking on about 70 protocols across more than 10 chains.

OKX partners with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, The Tribeca Festival, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

As a leader building innovative technology products, OKX believes in challenging the status quo. The company recently launched a global brand campaign entitled, The System Needs a Rewrite, which advocates for a new paradigm led by Web3 self-managed technology.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

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UnionPay International and The Tourism Organisation of Serbia Sign MOU to Enhance Tourist Payments and Promote Serbia as a Premier Destination

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BELGRADE, Serbia, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International, the leading global card scheme, has entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS). This strategic partnership aims to enhancing the payment experience for tourists and to further facilitate tourism growth in Serbia.

The MOU signing ceremony took place at Belgrade on 27th February 2024, marking the beginning of a collaborative effort between UnionPay International and TOS. The agreement outlines various areas of cooperation:

Jointly promoting Serbia as Travel Destination: Through optimised marketing resources, both parties aim to promote Serbia as tourist destination among UnionPay cardholders, with its rich cultural heritage and unique experiences, provide comprehensive tourism information and payment guides for the tourists visiting Serbia. UnionPay International aims to provide more diversified and convenient payment choices, and ensuring seamless payment experiences for travellers visiting the country.

Privileges and Benefits: The partnership will explore opportunities for preferential activities that bring additional benefits to UnionPay cardholders visiting Serbia. This approach aims to boost the attractiveness of the local tourism market and create a win-win situation for both parties.

Ms Bomee Sheng, Product Director of UnionPay International, expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are delighted to partner with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia to promote tourism and facilitate payment experiences in Serbia. Through this partnership, we aim to provide UnionPay cardholders with enhanced convenience and benefits, ultimately contributing to the growth of Serbia’s tourism industry.”

Ms Marija Labović, CEO of National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, commented, “This partnership with UnionPay International comes at an important time as we strive to become the most popular all year destination in the region.” She outlines Belgrade’s popularity and the diversity of attractions from city breaks to natural retreats and she is looking forward to the Expo 2027 in the capital, “By leveraging UnionPay’s global network and advanced payment solutions, we are confident that we can attract more visitors to Serbia and provide them with memorable experiences.”

In recent years, Serbia has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for Chinese visitors. It is hailed as the “heart of the Balkans” and offers a unique blend of captivating landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Its visa-free entry policy, coupled with the exceptional acceptance coverage of UnionPay cards, has played a significant role in attracting Chinese tourists. With over 90% of local merchants and ATMs supporting UnionPay payments and withdrawals, travellers can enjoy seamless payment experiences across various sectors, including retail, dining, hotels, gas stations, toll stations, and tourist attractions.

About The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS)

The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS) was formed under the Law on Tourism of 1994 as the institution in charge of promoting Serbian tourism in domestic and foreign markets, as well as performing other duties relevant for the development of communication and advertising activities in Serbian tourism. The activities of TOS are focused on positioning Serbia’s tourism products in domestic and foreign markets and exploring Serbia’s comparative advantages in terms of tourism, including its geostrategic position and its historical, cultural and natural identity.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay International focuses on the international business of UnionPay, a global payment network that serves the world’s largest cardholder base. Collaborating with over 2,600 partners globally, UnionPay acceptance now reached to 183 countries and regions. Outside the Chinese Mainland, UnionPay is accepted at nearly 67 million merchants and 1.7 million ATMs.

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