Monday, November 30, 2015

$1trn to tackle climate change; China manufacturing activity deteriorates; Yuan to join global currency club

1 $1trn to tackle climate change (Khaleej Times) The world's 48 poorest countries will need to find around a trillion dollars between 2020 and 2030 to achieve their plans to tackle climate change - and those plans should be a priority for international funding, researchers said.

Estimates based on plans submitted by the least-developed countries, or LDCs, toward a new United Nations deal to curb global warming show they will cost around $93.7 billion a year from 2020, when an agreement expected to be ironed out in Paris over the next two weeks is due to take effect.

That includes $53.8 billion annually to reduce emissions and $39.9 billion to deal with more extreme weather and rising seas, according to a report from the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development, or IIED. IIED director Andrew Norton said the least-developed countries currently get less than a third of all international climate funding provided by wealthy governments.

The least-developed countries - from Ethiopia to Zambia, and Yemen and Pacific island nations - are home to some of the poorest communities who are suffering the worst impacts of intensifying droughts, floods, storms and crumbling coastlines. Yet they produce just a tiny fraction of the planet-warming gases that drive climate change.

Such countries have a widespread lack of resources and expertise to tackle climate change. But nearly all have produced so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, to a new global climate deal. On Monday, 11 donor governments pledged close to $250 million in new money for adaptation in the poorest countries at the start of the UN climate talks.

2 China manufacturing activity deteriorates (BBC) Factory activity in the world's second largest economy, China, deteriorated in November as the manufacturing sector continued to shrink. The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell below forecasts to 49.6 in November, down from the previous month's reading of 49.8. A reading below the 50-mark indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth.

China's factories have struggled to gain momentum in a slowing economy. The Asian giant is headed for its slowest growth in a quarter of a century this year and economists are concerned that it will miss Beijing's official growth target of 7%. Activity in its vast manufacturing sector shrank for the fourth consecutive month in November and hit a three-year low.

The government is trying to move China from an export-driven economy to a consumption-based one. Activity in the country's services sector did pick up last month which helped offset the decline in manufacturing. The services PMI rose to 53.6 from 53.1 in October.

China's central bank has cut interest rates six times since last November, among a series of other measures to stimulate the economy. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI contracted for the ninth month in a row in November, but factory activity shrank at a slower pace than the previous month.

3 Yuan to join global currency club (Katie Allen in The Guardian) China’s yuan will be added to an elite basket of global currencies used by the International Monetary Fund, in a boost to Beijing’s global economic ambitions.

Shareholders in the Washington-based IMF voted to include the yuan, also known as the renminbi, as the fifth member of its special drawing rights (SDR) currency basket alongside the dollar, the Japanese yen, sterling and the euro.

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, said that including the yuan in the basket was an important milestone in integrating China into the global financial system. China had been lobbying for the IMF to add the yuan to its basket of currencies, which it uses to lend to sovereign borrowers.

A vote by representatives of the IMF’s member countries to support the move marks a significant milestone for Beijing as it seeks to put the yuan on a par with the US dollar and play a growing role in global markets. Lagarde endorsed that view, saying the yuan appeared to meet important criteria, including being deemed “a freely usable currency”.

The SDR basket is typically reviewed every five years by the IMF’s executive board to ensure it “reflects the relative importance of currencies in the global trading and financial systems”.  The IMF said: “The inclusion of the renminbi will enhance the attractiveness of the SDR by diversifying the basket and making it more representative of the world’s major currencies.”

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