By Gaopalelwe Santswere
The role of nuclear in the global transition to clean energy remains a controversial issue. In terms of finance, a fundamental question is whether the use of sustainable mechanisms like green bonds for nuclear projects is justified. Obviously, the universal solution is impossible. While some governments exclude nuclear power from their national green taxonomies, others, have included nuclear projects into the green financing system.
“Recognizing that many sustainable investors have exclusionary criteria in place around nuclear energy, the UK government will not finance any nuclear energy-related expenditures under the Framework,” holds the UK government’s Green Financing Framework, enacted this July. However, the document states that reaching net zero emissions will require all energy to be delivered to consumers in zero-carbon forms and be derived from low-carbon sources. Thus, nuclear power is, and will continue to be, a key part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix alongside solar and wind generation and carbon capture and storage technology.
According to S&P Global Ratings assessment, issuance in sustainable debt, including green, social and sustainability-linked bonds, rose up to more than 60% in 2020. This year the total value of sustainable financing instruments, will exceed $ 700 billion. This accounts for 9% of the global bond market, compared with 3.6% just three years ago. No doubt that this share will increase further with the advance of the energy transition.
The procedure for offering green bonds is not much different from the usual one for many companies to raise borrowed funds using bond instruments. But in addition to traditional description of the project for which funding is sought, it is necessary to assess its compliance with the green framework, or taxonomy, in the national or transnational level. Further verification of the application is carried out by rating agencies, which provide a second party opinion, which gives a pass to the financial platform. Does nuclear have a place there?
Europe still hesitates
The Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act of the European Union—the world’s first “green list” of a kind—is intended to be “common language that investors can use when investing in projects and economic activities that have a substantial positive impact on the climate and the environment”. But in the document unveiled by the European Commission (EC) this April the final decision on the nuclear was delayed.
Nuclear inclusion will be “subject to and consistent with the results of the specific review process underway in accordance with the EU Taxonomy Regulation,” the EC said. Foratom, the European nuclear trade organization, hailed the EC’s move to include nuclear under a complementary act.
Notably, France with its’ fabulous nuclear capacity has said it will fight to make nuclear power a green technology in line with EU sustainable financing rules. “This is a real political struggle,” said French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, emphasizing “France’s determination” to be labeled “green” investments for nuclear power according to taxonomy.
Some countries, for political reasons, make the inclusion of the atom impractical; however, many European scientists and experts recognize that the atom is an integral part of a carbon-free future.
Alternative Taxonomy is Real
China where green bond market was officially launched in 2015 gives another example of the inclusive green taxonomy. The 2019 Guiding Catalogue for the Green Industry issued by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission mentions the manufacture of nuclear power facilities as eligible under “clean energy Industry”.
New catalogue released in April 2021 scientifically and uniformly defines the areas and scope of green bond endorsed projects, unifies the scope of domestic green bond standards and gradually realizes the convergence of domestic and international standards and specifications.
In this new catalogue the requirements for hydroelectric power generation facilities and nuclear power plants are clearly defined as “without significant impact on the ecological environment”, “under the premise of safeguarding environmental safety”, and “under the premise of no serious damage to marine ecology and biodiversity”. Moreover, the document added items in the category of green equipment manufacturing, including nuclear power equipment manufacturing and nuclear power plant construction and operation.
Rosatom Supports Women’s Health In South Africa
Rosatom together with the South African Tourism Ministry and the Russian Embassy to South Africa are providing support to young women from Mpuluzi High School in Mayflower. On October 15, the company held an inaugural event aimed at dealing with period poverty by providing women with personal care products and personal hygiene information.
Are you familiar with the term “period poverty?” It is a global sanitation issue affecting millions of females around the world because women and young girls who menstruate are still ostracized.
It is estimated that roughly 7 million South African girls on their period often miss one or more days of school, totaling up to 20 percent of the school year, and some drop out altogether. The cultural shame associated with menstruation often prevent women from studying and work.
According to UNICEF, 2.3 billion people worldwide live without basic sanitation, making it difficult for women and girls to manage their menstrual cycles. Poor hygiene during the menstrual cycle can in turn cause health risks related to the reproductive and urinary organs. Many also cannot afford personal hygiene products because of the “pink tax” (a markup on women’s products similar to men’s). Period poverty also affects psychological wellbeing as women become embarrassed of their own bodies.
In order to resolve this global issue urgently two things need to be done: breaking the taboo around a normal biological process and providing access to personal hygiene products.
Starting October 15, Rosatom began supporting the girls at Mpuluzi High School in Mayflower, Mpumalanga with sanitary products. The company has also organized a discussion on female hygiene, inviting a local expert to interact with the learners. The hygiene products were supplied by Palesa Pads, an organization, which manufacture reusable hygiene pads with a shelf life of up to 5 years, providing a reliable and environmentally friendly long-term solution to a critical problem faced by young women across the globe.
“The biggest problem of the period poverty is that women have to choose between buying food and buying period products and it shouldn’t have to be a choice. The other issue is silence. Not enough people or companies talk about it. By supporting this initiative, we are not only helping girls, we are also raising awareness. We do hope to see more and more companies joining us in the fight against period poverty. We hope that in the future, this perfectly natural female process will no longer prevent girls and women from reaching their potential and fulfilling themselves because of missed opportunities,” exclaimed Evdokia Polyakovskaya, PR Manager at Rosatom Central and Southern Africa.
According to Ilya Rogachev, Russian Ambassador to South Africa: “My country has never been indifferent to the fate of African nations – in the past Russia rendered assistance to African nations in their liberation struggles against oppression. Today, all be it in a small way, we pledge our support in the liberation of young African women. I believe it is our common duty to help our children to walk along this thousand-mile-long path as long as we can, as we attach our best hopes for a better future to our children, and the generations to come.”
The event is only the first step towards achieving the UN SDG 5 (Gender Equality) in South Africa and overcoming the taboo and stigma surrounding the menstrual cycle. The company plans to continue raising this issue and expanding partnerships in the future.
Rosatom is a global technological leader, with capacities in the nuclear sector and beyond, and business partners in 50 countries. As one of the pioneers of the nuclear industry, Rosatom has traditionally been at the forefront of the international nuclear market, including nuclear power plant construction, uranium mining and enrichment, and nuclear fuel fabrication and supply.
Today, thanks to the unique expertise accumulated over 75 years, the company is conquering the markets of new promising high-tech products. Hydrogen energy, energy storage, nuclear medicine, wind energy, composite materials, logistics business, environmental solutions – in total, more than a hundred new businesses, which cement Rosatom’s standing among the leading tech giants.
The Rosatom business strategy is guided by the international sustainable development agenda. Rosatom makes a significant contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a low-carbon electricity company, developing nuclear, hydrogen and wind energy. Annually, Russian-designed nuclear power plants prevent more than 210 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the main cause of climate change.
The nuclear power plant being built by Rosatom in Turkey is the first nuclear project in history to receive a sustainable loan. In 2021, the company has placed its first issue of green exchange-traded bonds. Since 2020, ROSATOM has been a member of the UN Global Compact Network.
Courtnaé Paul Gets Real On Her Thriving Career In The Local Entertainment Space
Ever since she burst onto the scene as a B-Girl prodigy, Courtnaé Paul has continued to push the limits when it comes to her career. Today, she is an established musician, choreographer, media personality and influencer who never settles for anything less than perfection. The star just dropped her brand-new single ‘Ooh Wee’, announced her stint as a mentor and choreographer on the exciting new series ‘Dance Africa Dance’ and is one of the ambassadors for the exciting launch of the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTi.
Now, Courtnaé Paul opens up about her exciting career so far:
You just dropped a brand-new single ‘Ooh Wee’ with Da L.E.S, Money Badoo and Phantom Steeze. Talk to us a little bit about the inspiration behind the track.
The motive behind the song was really just to give people a good time. I wanted to create a vibe that makes you feel like we haven’t been in lockdown for as long as we have. As the country begins to open up, I wanted to bring the party vibe along with it too.
What was it like working with these acts in the studio?
With Phantom Steeze and Money Badoo being new wave artists, and L.E.S being an OG in the game, this collaboration brought something exciting and unexpected to the scene. Pairing artists that are different but which complement each other it’s always tricky, but this one flowed and felt very natural. It has all the makings of a fire track and I am so excited that people are loving it.
You’ve recently released beautiful visuals for your single ‘No Other Way’ with Rowlene and Manu Worldstar. Tell us more about that.
I wanted the video to look like the song sounded and I was inspired to create a video from exactly how the music made me feel. I’ve got a deep love for Afro and Kizomba and the song plays in that spectrum as well. All this coupled with an amazing director like The Lotus Sutra made sure that everything we envisioned came to life and it’s a project I’m very proud of.
Obviously, you made a name for yourself as a B-Girl. How do you push yourself to being the best?
I push myself to being the best I can be. In this case, my best just so happens that my best is actually thee best. Haha! I’ve never been one to half-do anything, so if something has my interest you’ll really see it in the execution. This been a monster dance year for me so far. I won the Red Bull BC One B-Girl S.A. final and I will be off to Poland in November for the world final. I’ve also just recently won Breaking for Gold which will give me my SA colours and set my sites on the 2024 Olympics, with the first stop being in Paris this December.
You’re also a mentor and choreographer on Dance Africa Dance. What inspired you to be a part of that series?
I love being involved at the beginning of something – especially when it encompasses a fusion of culture, music and dance, everything I am incredibly passionate about. This is a show that started in India, travelled to Singapore and now has its first season in Africa. The show will be played in all 52 African countries, the UK and the Indian islands which is really exciting. I back anything that gives our talent a platform to shine which is why I was really excited to sign on to this series.
Collaboration is obviously incredibly important in progressing as both an entertainer and an influencer – a space you have also tapped into recently. What, in your opinion, is a great influencer?
I’m not sure what makes a great influencer but I find it works best when you’re authentic about the projects you work on. Social media has somewhat made all of us influencers, even if you never intended to be one. It’s allowed me to connect with my dream brands and create all-encompassing campaigns. I’m currently working on a campaign with VW called #GTI8OnTour as part of the JHB team alongside Donovan Goliath and Khutso Thaledi. This campaign sees us as an integral part of the launch, pushing out the information, testing the cars, encouraging fans of the car to download the app, play the game and win themselves tickets to the launch events around the country and even taking it offline where I’ll be DJ’ing at the launch fest in Jozi on 16 October.
What else do you have up your sleeve over the next few months?
Over the next few months I’ll be traveling to complete internationally, while releasing more music, dropping new music videos and collaborations with brands like G-Star RAW and Volkswagen. You can see me flying around in the Golf 8 GTi, DJ’ing at venues around the country, or on your screens every weekend for Dance Africa Dance on ZeeWorld. Join me for the ride!
For more information on #GTI8OnTour and how to win tickets to the car-meets in Cape Town at the CTICC Parkade on 2 October, Durban at the Cornubia Mall Parkade on 9 October and in Johannesburg at the Fourways Mall Parkade on 16 October, download the app here: http://golfgti8.onelink.me/CoRl/57881e5.
Guinness & Incredible Zigi To Give Away Newly Released iPhone 13 & Other Juicy Prizes In Guinness Black Shines Brightest Dance Challenge
Your number 1 stout beer, Guinness and Ghanaian dance sensation, Incredible Zigi are set to give out a brand-new iPhone 13 to the winner of the Black Shines Brightest Dance Challenge.
The dance challenge is a call from Guinness to everyone who is bold, golden, bright, and ready to be a part of the wave of cultural change makers in Ghana.
To mark the commencement of this challenge, Incredible Zigi and his team of Incredible dancers stormed the Accra Mall in full energy and vibe to pave way for all cultural change makers in a flash mob.
There shall be weekly rewards of high-quality sneakers, Bose speakers and beats by Dre with the ultimate winner walking away with the newly released iPhone 13.
To participate in this challenge, using the soundtrack for #Blackshinesbrightest (https://bit.ly/2XsHg3T) record and upload a video of yourself doing the #Blackshinesbrightest dance and add a freestyle at the end to showcase how bright you can shine.
The video with the most shares, views and creative dance moves, stands a chance to win the ultimate newly release iPhone 13. Participants are reminded to tag @incredblezigi and @guinessgh and must not forget to add #BSBDancewithZigi
Just like Incredible Zigi, Guinness is bursting with life. It is a flavourful, bold and dynamic beer, sparkling and brimming with energy and exuberance. It is the liquid embodiment of a black shines brightest attitude and open to all who are ready to make a change in the cultural wave and shine bright.
Does dance make you shine the brightest? Show us what you’ve got and join the #Blackshinesbrightest dance challenge.
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