Wave of Fossil Fuel Dislike amongst the Young

Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

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Further to our Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does, here is an interesting article on the side-lines of one of the Oil Industry’s main concerns as elaborated on this report of the IBT on the recently held 22nd World Petroleum Congress – Istanbul, 2017 where it was a question of how age and gender could obviously affect the industry to survive this wave of fossil fuel dislike amongst the young.  The unleashing of a frenzy amongst today’s youth as Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate climate leadership and end their financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

No industry for old men: Why ‘Big Oil’ needs to woo younger, female workforce

WPC 2017

Energy industry’s lack of appeal for women and the young remains a major cause for concern.

By Gaurav Sharma in Istanbul, Turkey

Updated on July 14, 2017 20:22 BST

It may not be as pressing an issue for the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) as the crude oil price slump, but had you asked around the oil and gas industry’s recently concluded triennial jamboree held in Istanbul, Turkey, plenty of high profile people would point to a lack of female executives as a major concern.

Furthermore, equally concerning is the perceived loss of the industry’s appeal for young professionals choosing a career pathway. To his credit, Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, which has been organising the congress since 1933, acknowledged the problem in his very first quip of the event.

“Oil and gas will play a role in the energy mix for decades to come. Yet, at the same time the number of people joining the energy industry is declining.”

Much more needs to be done when it comes addressing the gender balance in the business, he added. “We are committed to changing this, as well as showcasing the talent of female industry executives to inspire.”

That’s all well and good; but a cursory look around the WPC plenary halls, auditoriums and corridors by your correspondent found an overwhelming number of delegates of the male and middle-aged variety, regardless of which country they were travelling from.

Of course, there was a young professionals’ floor and youth congress, and events such as a youth night and a ‘Women in Energy’ breakfast.

Despite being well-intentioned objectives aimed at promoting dialogue, to many participants interviewed by IBTimes UK they seemed to be perfunctory box-ticking exercises being conducted because a mega industry event of the WPC’s size could not possibly, not have them. The previous Congress in Doha (2011) and Moscow (2014) had the very same events.

Hope is that the hard work in attracting young recruits and tackling the gender imbalance will finally begin in earnest once WPC’s 6,000-odd delegates, 500 CEOs, 50 Ministers and heads of state go home and ponder about it.

For that to happen, it is worth getting a deeper understanding of the problem first, according to Deborah Byers, US Oil & Gas Practice leader at global consultancy EY. A recent polling exercise in the US by Byers’ colleagues found that most of the younger generation perceive oil and gas jobs as a bit too blue collar and dangerous.

“That’s generation Z – or post-Millennials – typically born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s to you and me. We also find a disconnect between what oil and gas executives think young people want from a career and what they actually want. There’s a general lack of awareness about the industry and the careers that power it, and a substantial gender gap.”

When EY asked which three considerations are the most important in selecting a future career, both Millennials and Generation Z, as a whole, prioritised salary (56%), good work-life balance (49%), job stability (37%) and on-the-job happiness (37%).”

However, oil and gas executives polled expected the leading career drivers for young people to be salary (72%), technology (43%), good work-life balance (38%), and the opportunity to try new roles (28%). The study also found that only 24% of women in the 16-35 age group find oil and gas jobs appealing, while 54% of men in the same age range find them appealing.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,204 US consumers and 109 industry executives conducted earlier this year. In the wider scheme of things, the consultancy’s findings offer only a glimpse into the thinking of female and young people hunting career prospects. However, what it also does is flag up the enormity of the task ahead.

“In an era of lower for longer, some say lower forever oil prices, the industry has a call to action to solve this perception problem for the sake of their future workforce and their success,” Byers concludes.

Dr Jozsef Toth, President of World Petroleum Council, says the industry must improve its appeal to younger recruits and female aspirants.Gaurav Sharma / IB Times UK

Paradoxically, Eithne Treanor, a seasoned energy sector broadcaster and conference moderator based in Dubai, feels it’s the low price environment that is putting people off.

“Oil and gas companies aren’t in hiring mode in any case to begin with, as opportunities from geology to engineering, management to on-site operations dwindle. Furthermore, young people and suitable female candidates ask themselves should I really choose a future in an industry that’s in decline or at least appears to be.”

While the oil price environment is a relatively recent development, Treanor said the industry’s problem of attracting fewer qualified female professionals and its lack of appeal to youngsters also has to do with historical reputational problems.

“The industry has been quite poor at engaging with young people, something I feel it is attempting to rectify. When the idea is to catch them young, leaving it till they are at university is a bit too late; I’d say go all the way lower to junior school.

“For example – a programme started by a science professor in Lebanon called ‘The Young Engineer’ has been running for 10 years and piques the interest of kids when they are 5-6 years old.”

Specifically on the subject of attracting female talent, Trainer said: “Look around the WPC, majority of the panel discussions and deliberations have mostly male speakers. The lack of diversity is visible. Some women have risen through the industry ranks and have become role models, and are indeed here, but there are not that many.”

Positive discrimination is needed, she added, including perhaps an introduction of the Norwegian model of mandatory quotas for women to be on corporate boards and in positions of authority.

iStock

Time is running out, and the industry needs to act fast, according Aleek Datta, Managing Director at consultancy Accenture.

“In 2011, around $590bn (£455bn) was spent on petrotechnical workforce development, which rose to a commendable $760bn in 2014. However, oil price slump hit and spending on talent fell to $570bn in 2015, and has been in decline ever since.

“If we assume oil demand will increase, yet spending on talent continues at its current level, the global industry will have 30% deficit of petrotechnical professionals as early as 2020.

“The oil and gas industry is losing the fight for top millennial talent, as young professionals prefer other industries, like the technology industry. Only 2% of US graduates, according our research, consider oil and gas as a primary career choice.”

To some it might seem counterintuitive to invest in attracting and training young professionals and wooing more women to the industry when the oil price is down, but the risk of not doing so could be even more dire.

 

Adjustments in Global Surface Temperature Readings

As reported by The Daily Caller, a new study found that there were some adjustments in global surface temperature readings by other scientists in the past few years.  And that these “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.” And as such, “it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST [global average surface temperature] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record-setting warming,” the study, published last month, noted.

As reported by The Daily Caller, a new study found that there were some adjustments in global surface temperature readings by other scientists in the past few years.  And that these “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.” And as such, “it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST [global average surface temperature] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever — despite current claims of record-setting warming,” the study, published last month, noted.
In any case here is below an article written by Michael Bastasch published by the Daily Caller on July 9, 2017.
Adjustments in global surface temperature readings

EXCLUSIVE: Study Finds Temperature Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Climate Data

A new study found adjustments made to global surface temperature readings by scientists in recent years “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

“Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published [global average surface temperature (GAST)] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming,” according to a study published June 27 by two scientists and a veteran statistician.

The peer-reviewed study tried to validate current surface temperature datasets managed by NASA, NOAA and the UK’s Met Office, all of which make adjustments to raw thermometer readings. Skeptics of man-made global warming have criticized the adjustments.

Climate scientists often apply adjustments to surface temperature thermometers to account for “biases” in the data. The new study doesn’t question the adjustments themselves but notes nearly all of them increase the warming trend.

Basically, “cyclical pattern in the earlier reported data has very nearly been ‘adjusted’ out” of temperature readings taken from weather stations, buoys, ships and other sources.

In fact, almost all the surface temperature warming adjustments cool past temperatures and warm more current records, increasing the warming trend, according to the study’s authors.

“Nearly all of the warming they are now showing are in the adjustments,” Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, a study co-author, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “Each dataset pushed down the 1940s warming and pushed up the current warming.”

“You would think that when you make adjustments you’d sometimes get warming and sometimes get cooling. That’s almost never happened,” said D’Aleo, who co-authored the study with statistician James Wallace and Cato Institute climate scientist Craig Idso.

Their study found measurements “nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history,” which was “nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern.”

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three [global average surface temperature] data sets are not a valid representation of reality,” the study found. “In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

Based on these results, the study’s authors claim the science underpinning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases “is invalidated.”

The new study will be included in petitions by conservative groups to the EPA to reconsider the 2009 endangerment finding, which gave the agency its legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Sam Kazman, an attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), said the study added an “important new piece of evidence to this debate” over whether to reopen the endangerment finding. CEI petitioned EPA to reopen the endangerment finding in February.

“I think this adds a very strong new element to it,” Kazman told TheDCNF. “It’s enough reason to open things formally and open public comment on the charges we make.”

Since President Donald Trump ordered EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to review the Clean Power Plan, there’s been speculation the administration would reopen the endangerment finding to new scrutiny.

The Obama-era document used three lines of evidence to claim such emissions from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

D’Aleo and Wallace filed a petition with EPA on behalf of their group, the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC). They relied on past their past research, which found one of EPA’s lines of evidence “simply does not exist in the real world.”

Their 2016 study “failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.”

“In sum, all three of the lines of evidence relied upon by EPA to attribute warming to human GHG emissions are invalid,” reads CHCC’s petition. “The Endangerment Finding itself is therefore invalid and should be reconsidered.

Pruitt’s largely been silent on whether or not he would reopen the endangerment finding, but the administrator did say he was spearheading a red team exercise to tackle climate science.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry also came out in favor of red-blue team exercises, which are used by the military and intelligence agencies to expose any vulnerabilities to systems or strategies.

Environmental activists and climate scientists largely panned the idea, with some even arguing it would be “dangerous” to elevate minority scientific opinions.

“Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate,” wrote climate scientist Ben Santer and Kerry Emanuel and historian and activist Naomi Oreskes.

“They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science,” the three wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed.

“Frankly, I think you could do a red-blue team exercise as part of reviewing the endangerment finding,” Kazman said.

Though Kazman did warn a red team exercise could be a double-edged sword if not done correctly. He worries some scientists not supportive of the idea could undermine the process from the inside and use it to grandstand.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

 

$1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park

Of all the achievements that Dubai could claim to have realised since or after the formation of the United Arab Emirates, is this semi-loony $1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park that is not really such a loony one.  It may however seem so at first glance but at a closer look, the city has dramatically changed since dredging of what is called its “creek”, that is a finger of the Gulf sea water coming into the desert shore land.  What followed after that is a succession of more and more amazing developments as decidedly helped by the unprecedentedly ginormous inflow of petrodollars and the accompanying expatriates to service them. 

It would be interesting to follow up on the current Qatar crisis as intimated in our Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region and its direct effect on such a project.

Of all the achievements that Dubai could claim to have realised since or after the formation of the United Arab Emirates, is this semi-loony $1 billion project of Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park that is not really such a loony one.  It may however seem so at first glance but at a closer look, the city has dramatically changed since dredging of what is called its “creek”, that is a finger of the Gulf sea water coming into the desert shore land.  What followed after that is a succession of more and more amazing developments as decidedly helped by the unprecedentedly ginormous inflow of petrodollars and the accompanying expatriates to service them. 
It would be interesting to follow up on the current Qatar crisis as intimated in our Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region and its direct effect on such a project.
We feature this article of India Times written by Anjali Bisaria and published on July 8, 2017. 

Dubai’s Largest Indoor Theme Park Costs $1 Billion & Is As Big As 28 American Football Fields

When it comes to building the world’s ‘firsts’ buildings, hotels, or artificial islands, trust Dubai to be ahead of the game, all the damn time!

For Dubai is now home to the globe’s first largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure. Sprawled across 1.5 million square feet with a capacity to hold 30,000 visitors at a time, the $1 billion theme park threw open its doors on August 31, 2016, reports The Independent.  

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

The size of the theme park equals 28 American football fields which also houses a 12-screen cinema complex with IMAX screen. Its opulence is Dubai’s yet another promise of becoming the country’s entertainment capital.

And by 2019, IMG Worlds of Adventures is expected to see a rise in its revenues by 78% to $837 million!

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

The park is divided into four zones – MARVEL, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure, and IMG Boulevard. There are 22 rides and attractions including the Velociraptor roller-coaster that speeds up to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

Apart from this, visitors can check out 25 shops and 28 restaurants and bars with prices soaring through the sky. Imagine buying a pen worth 115,000 dirhams, i.e., $31,300!

A land that also sees soaring temperatures, this indoor theme park is both a respite and a delight.

 ANJALI BISARIA

JULY 08, 2017

Fast Going Encroachments on Egypt’s State Lands

Egypt’s 95% of populations live in the Nile delta and along its banks. The most heavily populated country of the MENA region that is like all countries of the Middle East going through rapid urbanisation has an issue of settlement of its population’s habitable space and yet not compromises its vital agricultural lands. Despite the successive governments trying to encourage the move towards some greened lands of the surrounding desert but in vain; fast going encroachments on Egypt’s state lands spread in those relatively small but habitable lands.

Egypt’s 95% of populations live in the Nile delta and along its banks.  The most heavily populated country of the MENA region that is like all countries of the Middle East going through rapid urbanisation has an issue of settlement of its population’s habitable space and yet not compromises its vital agricultural lands. Despite the successive governments trying to encourage the move towards some greened lands of the surrounding desert but in vain; fast going encroachments on Egypt’s state lands spread in those relatively small but habitable lands.  Employment, higher standards of life, etc. were obviously difficult to get over, up until recently where the newly “voted in” president Al Sisi has embarked on a mission of clearing the rare and so-called State lands of its squatting occupants.
This article proposed here below of Al-Monitor written by Khalid HassanContributor, Egypt Pulse is more than illustrative on the issue.

Egypt’s Sisi vows to recover state land from squatters

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently expressed his anger at the illegal acquisition of state lands and issued a strong warning to those encroaching upon these lands. “It is no longer acceptable for anyone in Egypt to encroach upon state lands. It is no longer acceptable for people to take lands that belong to the state,” he said in a May 14 speech delivered during his visit to Qena province to inaugurate a set of projects.

Sisi tasked the armed forces and the police with putting an end to the illegal seizure of state lands and fully reclaim all the usurped state territories by force by May 31. “We are all for new investment projects and for facilitating the work of investors. As a state, we are trying to organize the process so that it does not spin out of control. It is not acceptable and will never be acceptable for people to [illegally] acquire such lands.”

During a June 7 conference to reveal the results of the campaign to retrieve state lands, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the government, with the help of its executive agencies, had managed to reverse 69% of the infringement cases so far. He added that during the next phase, the governors will play a more active role and government efforts will continue, with the aim to protect state lands from encroachment and prevent any new violations, while continuing to remove any previous violations.

This was not the first time that Sisi sought to confront the illegal use of state lands across the republic. On Feb. 18, Sisi issued a presidential decree to form a committee tasked with retrieving seized public land in all possible legal ways as well as drafting reports on the factors that led to their seizure, in order to propose solutions aimed at preventing future cases.

Encroachments on state lands spread like wildfire in Egypt following the January 25 Revolution in 2011, as the government failed to fight the phenomenon amid a state of chaos and the breakdown of the state apparatus. Those involved include businessmen and farmers.

The committee — headed by the assistant to the president of the Republic for National and Strategic Projects, Ibrahim Mahlab — includes Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki Badr; representatives of the ministries of justice, defense and interior; and representatives of the General Intelligence, the Administrative Control and the Public Funds Investigation departments within the Ministry of Interior, the Notaries Union of Egypt and the Egyptian Survey Authority.

This committee, however, failed to achieve the objective for which it was established, as the government and the executive bodies were not so cooperative, Majdi Malak — member of the Committee on Agriculture in the House of Representatives — told Al-Monitor.

Malak added, “President Sisi ordered the armed forces and police to get rid of all kinds of encroachments on the state lands due to the committee’s failure to deal with the issue. There are thousands of acres of agricultural lands that have been seized for the establishment of resorts and luxury compounds. This led to the accumulation of irregularities and to the rise of a complicated process to reverse them.”

“After the Jan. 25, 2011, revolution and the ensuing chaos and insecurity that plagued the country, Egyptian governorates witnessed several encroachments on agricultural lands for construction purposes, as the state stood silent without taking a decisive position against the aggressors,” he said.

On April 30, an official report from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Central Committee for Land Protection pointed out that the violations of fertile agricultural land since the January 25 Revolution until April 23, 2017, amounted to 1,690,734 cases, covering an area estimated at ​​75,216 acres. The report pointed out that only 377,490 cases covering 21,204 acres have been reversed.

Meanwhile, one of the most recent scientific studies of the government’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences revealed June 1, 2015, through satellite images analyzed by its scientists, that the rate of urban encroachment on agricultural land has increased by 23% annually in recent years in several governorates, thus resulting in a shortage in agricultural lands.

Scientists in the said authority predicted that by 2050, Egypt will lose about 17% of the delta area as a result of indiscriminate urbanization.

On Dec. 19, 2013, Ayman Farid Abu Hadid, then-Minister of Agriculture, pointed out in television statements that the ​​agricultural areas in Egypt did not exceed 8.5 million acres, and he said that the surface is very small compared to the large population. He stressed that the area needed by Egypt to cover the needs of its population goes up to 18 million acres.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said April 5 that Egypt’s population reached 92.75 million at home and 8 million people abroad. Thus, it added, Egypt has officially surpassed 100 million people, and the population growth rate reached 2.4%.

In a government effort to increase the ​​size of agricultural lands, Prime Minister Ismail’s government announced on Feb. 1, 2016, the start of the new Egyptian Countryside Development Company activities to reclaim 1.5 million acres with a capital of 8 billion Egyptian pounds ($441.9 million).

The spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Hamed Abdel Dayem, told Al-Monitor that Sisi’s initiative to reclaim all the usurped state land significantly contributed to confronting the mafia looting state lands, and several provinces succeeded over the past few days in completely recovering agricultural land from looters.

Maj. Gen. Khaled Said, the governor of al-Sharqiya province, announced May 26 that 736 cases of infringement covering 48,112 acres in al-Sharqiya have been eliminated.

Meanwhile, Dakahlia Gov. Ahmed al-Sharaoui announced May 20 that the governorate got rid of 90% of the cases of infringement on state property.

“Agricultural land is a national security issue, and its protection is a national duty because constructions on agricultural lands threaten food insecurity, especially in light of Egypt’s food needs, dependence on imports and constantly increasing population,” Abdel Dayem said.

A study by the National Center for Agricultural Research, a government agency, revealed on July 18, 2016, that Egypt imported 65% of its food needs, including 9 million tons of wheat, 6 million tons of corn and 1 million tons of soybean.

“I expect the state to declare soon that it has reclaimed all of its territory, has reversed all of the related encroachments and will prevent any further infringements on its territory, especially after the adoption of a new agriculture law,” Abdel Dayem concluded.

The Egyptian parliament is currently discussing several bills to amend the current Agriculture Law and the provisions related to the penalties of building on agricultural land. Each bill includes different penalties for building on agricultural land ranging from fines of up to 5 million Egyptian pounds ($275,520) to up to five years’ imprisonment. The parliament is seeking to increase the penalty in order to deter violators. In addition, some of the bills call for the establishment of a new police under the Ministry of the Interior under the name of the Agricultural Land Protection Police, which has an internal building and is responsible for eliminating any encroachment on agricultural lands as soon as it occurs.

Under the current law, offenders face a penalty of imprisonment and a fine ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($551 to $2,755), depending on the number of irregularities. The parliament’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee is still discussing the draft laws for approval.

 

The Maghreb Union the world’s worst trading bloc

The Maghreb Union the world’s worst trading bloc is a vast expanse of land between the Sahara, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is made of nations with relatively homogeneous ethnic compositions that are largely dominated by the Amazigh component. The Arab identity that was inlaid during the 8th and 9th centuries came eventually to dominate the whole without however convening it, within one State or complementary neighbouring States.

The Maghreb Union the world’s worst trading bloc is believed as such by most, notably by the author of the proposed article of the WEF.  It is nevertheless a vast expanse of land between the Sahara, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is made of nations with relatively homogeneous ethnic compositions that are largely dominated by the Amazigh component.  The Arab identity that was inlaid during the 8th and 9th centuries came eventually to dominate the whole without however convening it, within one State or complementary neighbouring States.
Today rallies take place with or often without confrontation with the security forces in every corner of the Maghreb to claim for most amongst many things their legitimate identity.  The Mouvement Autonomist Kabyle and the M’zab in Algeria, the Rif’s Hirak in Morocco are only the loudest few taking to the street for what could be assimilated to discontent with such existing States.
All of these countries it is said are consequent to a long chain of crises.  These started with the demise of that part of the Maghreb from the multi century old rule of the Ottoman Empire to the superfluous French protectorate of a few years in Morocco and Tunisia and outright but unsuccessful colonisation in Algeria.
This article below of the World Economic Forum written by Wadia Ait Hamza, Head of Social Engagement – The Americas, gives a pretty descriptive image of the currently prevailing situation of the countries of the Maghreb.

The Maghreb Union is one of the world’s worst-performing trading blocs. Here are five ways to change that

The Maghreb is the perfect example of a region whose countries have been unable to find their way to a deeper integration

The Image above is of REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

In today’s world it is increasingly difficult for non-integrated countries to be either economically or politically viable. It is simply not sustainable for countries to be isolated in their own bubble; those nations should overcome their competitive mindset and search for ways to cooperate with their peers.

The Maghreb, in Northern Africa, is the perfect example of a region whose countries have been unable to find their way to a deeper integration. Only the most basic level of cooperation exists between the region’s five countries – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – despite the fact that the Maghreb Arab Union was created more than 25 years ago with the aim of building a powerful economic bloc in the region.

The region’s potential is enormous, especially if its countries can work together. However, trade between the Maghreb countries represents just 4.8% of their trade volume, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – and it represents less than 2% of the sub-region’s combined gross domestic product (GDP), according to the World Bank. This region is one of the lowest-performing trading blocs in the world.

If the five Maghreb countries were integrated, each would gain a minimum 5% rise in GDP. A report by the World Bank on economic integration in the Maghrebestimated that deeper integration, including the liberalising of services and reform of investment rules would have increased the per capita real GDP between 2005 and 2015 by 34% for Algeria, 27% for Morocco and 24% for Tunisia.

read more on the original WEF website

 

The US leaving the 2015 Paris Agreement

The two-day visit of Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia and meeting with more than 50 Middle Eastern Arab and Muslim leaders to whom he counselled to combat Islamic extremism from the region, before adding that it is a “battle between good and evil” and not a clash between the West and Islam has gone relatively well and it is almost forgotten now.  The proposed topic of Donald Trump’s mulling over the idea of the US leaving the 2015 Paris Agreement sounds to many as rather unfortunate.  
The American president will be announcing sometime today his decision on the withdrawal or not of the United States from the agreement, adopted in December 2015 in Paris by 195 countries. 
It is the first legally binding agreement of its kind in the world and yet it is still suspended by a decision of the tenant of the White House, who in the past has never hidden his hostility to such agreement.
The Brookings sustains in this article that the American majorities despite voting for the man was surveyed to be this time not very supportive of this last stance of their president.

FIXGOV

Paris Agreement enjoys more support than Donald Trump

By William A. Galston,  Wednesday, May 31, 2017

President Trump reportedly intends to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement. His advisors may have told him that it will be a popular move. This is what they told him about firing FBI Director James Comey, and he seems to have believed it. This could become yet another self-inflicted wound, because vast majorities of Americans want to remain in the Paris accord, including many of his own supporters.

In a survey of registered voters taken just weeks after the 2016 election, 69% said that the U.S. should participate in the agreement. This figure included 86% of Democrats, 61% of Independents, and 51% of Republicans. By a margin of 40 to 34%, even a plurality of self-described conservative Republicans backed the agreement.

The administration has argued that the Paris agreement is “unfair” because large polluting countries such as India and China are not required to do anything until 2030. The voters don’t buy this argument. Two-thirds of them—79% of Democrats, 56% of Independents, and 51% of Republicans–say that the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.

What about Mr. Trump’s core supporters? A February 2017 survey of voters who supported him in November found 47% in favor of participating in the Paris agreement; only 28% disagreed.

By the way, only 30% of Mr. Trump’s supporters agree with his claim that climate change is a hoax.

The president may be interested in his supporters’ views on related subjects:

  • 62% support taxing and/or regulating the pollution that causes global warming.
    • 71% favor funding more research into clean energy.
    • 69% favor providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy efficient vehicles or solar panels.
    • 52% favor eliminating all federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and 48% support requiring the industry to pay a carbon tax that would be used to reduce other taxes.
    • 73% say that the U.S. should make more use of renewable energy sources, compared to only 31% who say this about fossil fuels. In fact, more Trump voters think we should reduce rather than increase our use of fossil fuels.

The president and his advisors may regard these surveys as more fake news from academia. Before they dismiss them outright, they may want to take a look at the list of other surveys conducted in the past year that reached similar conclusions:

The end of ever-rising consumption of Oil is in sight.

Donald Trump has just left Saudi Arabia for Israel with a $350 billion worth of contracts under his arm.  One wonders if he would gather as much in the latter country.  In any case, the president of the USA seems to have tabled a lot of his plans if not all on getting America’s manufacturing, etc. back to where it stood years past.  Doing so would mean as before, heavy reliance on the easy resource that is fossil fuel in whatever form be it conventional and / or Shale. But he seems to ignore that there’s a growing consensus that the end of ever-rising consumption of Oil is in sight.
OPEC and Russia as world greatest producers have helped a great deal in the past but recently antagonised the US by literally cutting back their production.  As it happens they only helped the US emerging Shale sector to come back in force and recapture its share of the world market.
At this conjecture, an enlightening article of Wall Street Journal written by Lynn Cook and Elena Cherney was published on May 21, 2017 on perhaps the most critical aspect of the fossil oils industry that is of their natural reserves as combined with all related industries peaking shortly any time.  We would of course reiterate our wish to cover for as much as we can all matters that relate to the MENA region.  The Peak Oil hatchet hanging over the heads of all oil producing countries and by extension on all non-petro economies has long been in the air.  “All good things must come to an end” has been a refrain since the advent of oil and its follow up early harvests of green backs.
We extracted some excerpts especially that concerning the developing world and republished here for purposes of widening the circles of discussions.
We would however advise to address any comments on the article proper directly to the authors whereas any discussions within our membership on the phenomenon itself is as always welcome here.

Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand

The developing world

Another crucial variable to consider is the developing world. Any levelling of driver demand for gasoline in rich countries could be offset by growing demand among new middle-class drivers in developing nations.

Part of BP’s forecast of a mid-2040s peak rides on continued growth in developing nations. As China, India and other nations get wealthier over the next two decades, another two billion people—about a quarter of the world’s population—will move from low to middle incomes.

Trucks in a container port area in Shanghai. The rate of economic growth in developing countries is one of the variables that make predicting peak oil demand a challenge. PHOTO: KEVIN LEE/BLOOMBERG NEWS

“When that happens, your demand for oil increases,” says BP’s Mr. Dale. “You stop riding on overcrowded buses and trains, and you buy your first motorbike. And then you buy a car.”

To come up with Statoil’s 2030 peak-demand forecast, Mr. Wærness, the company’s chief economist, says he thinks a lot about what life will be like 20 years from now for much of the world’s population—especially in India, which will emerge to lead global energy-demand growth in the 2020s, taking the mantle from China.

“I’m not talking about people in New York and San Francisco but kids of the current poor people in Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai,” Mr. Wærness says. “They will become global middle-class consumers by 2040.”

Consider this jet-fuel math: Seven times as many Chinese are flying now as in 2000, and six times as many Indians, he says. “When they get rich, they’ll want to travel to exciting places.”

Why, then, does Statoil expect an early peak? The company sees increased demand balanced out by efforts in some developing countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and limit climate change. In China, for instance, the government is subsidizing electric vehicles, and in cities, only EVs are allowed on the road on days when air quality is bad.

Such policies around the world stand to have a major impact on the fuel mix. Globally, carbon intensity and energy intensity have already peaked and will trend down through 2035, according to a Wood Mackenzie analysis. But many analysts say the Paris Agreement to limit global warming is just the beginning. And some companies are starting to plan accordingly.

“To us, it’s real,” says Statoil’s Mr. Sætre. “The future has to be low carbon.”

Ms. Cook is deputy chief of The Wall Street Journal’s energy bureau, and Ms. Cherney is global editor of the bureau. They can be reached at lynn.cook@wsj.com and elena.cherney@wsj.com.