Friday, December 27, 2013

Viet Nam, World Bank sign emission reductions pact

Xo so Nam will launch a carbon-finance programme that will help green the country's national electricity grid in a commercially sustainable manner.

Under an agreement signed last Friday between the Government and the World Bank's Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF), the CPF will purchase carbon credits generated by the World Bank-funded Renewable Energy Development Project (REDP) under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.

The CPF, with Sweden, Norway and Spain as Buyer Participants, will buy the first three million metric tonnes of carbon credits generated through small hydropower development under REDP, creating a revenue stream for the projects.

The REDP is a US$202 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's concessional lending window.

"Carbon credits will help create a revenue stream that enhances the financial attractiveness of private investments in renewable energy, by providing performance-based payments in hard currency," said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank country director for Viet Nam.

To date, the Viet Nam Ministry of Industry Trade has received around 20 applications to develop small hydropower projects under the REDP.

The REDP is expected to add 250 MW of installed capacity of renewable energy to the grid, with a total of 965 GWh of electricity per year and will also expand local employment opportunities and increase reliability of the electricity supply, especially in rural areas.

About 15-25 sub-projects, which have total investment cost in the range of $5-$20 million each, may be financed by the REDP.

The programme will green Viet Nam's national electricity grid on a commercially sustainable basis by addressing barriers to renewable energy and providing financial support, including carbon revenue provided by the CPF to improve the financial viability of the projects.

"Signing this agreement with the CPF is very encouraging for Viet Nam, which intends to pursue additional opportunities to use carbon credits to support economic development and climate change mitigation goals," said Le Duong Quang, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Here's Jamie Dimon's Opulent, Maddeningly Tone-Deaf Christmas Card

'Here's wishing 1% of you a joyous holiday!'

Jamie Dimon, CEO of banking giant JPMorgan, has a holiday card tradition like many other famous Americans. But unlike most of them, he's one of the most richly compensated executives in the country. That-and a boxed christmas">series of scandals surrounding JPMorgan-has made him the focus of resentment against America's big banks. The card, which is going viral, isn't likely to help.

Dimon and his family recently sent out their annual card, wishing family and friends happy holidays and all the best for 2014. The card's panoramic images feature Jamie, his wife Judy, their three daughters, a dog, and another young man. The opulently shot pictures show the group in an expansive apartment sort of playing tennis. (Could you pick a more elitist sport, short of bringing dressage ponies up the freight elevator?) Quartz called it Ralph Lauren-esque, which seems about right. Here's part of the photo; you can see the full set here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taylor Swift Gushes Over 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Angels in Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Taylor Swift may not be a Victoria's Secret Angel, but she certainly looked pretty ethereal performing on the runway of the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Now, fans can watch a sneak peek of the show before it airs, along with Swift's thoughts on the models.

The brief footage shows what it's like backstage before the show and the excited energy seems to jump through the computer screen.

There are Angels who are still toning their already trim muscles, lots of hair and makeup underway and loads of bright camera flashes of photographers vying for the best poses.

The clip also features one of the biggest stars of the night - Swift in all her glory, posing serenely on the pink carpet and then working the glittery silver runway alongside of some of today's top models.

"The outfits were amazing," she gushed. "The girls are so incredible and so nice and so sweet; this is the best!"

Although she was">initially snubbed by model Jessica Hart, the singer can still stand by her comments about the Angels being "so nice," as Hart quickly took back her "mean" words.

The 'Red' singer opted to wear a tiny sparkly number during her performance of 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and went British with Fall Out Boy and 'My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)' during the British Invasion portion of the evening. Other themes of the night included Snow Angels, Shipwrecked, Parisian Nights, Pink Network, and Birds of Paradise.

With her leggy frame and tremendous talent, Swift fit right in with all of the Angels, except for the lingerie aspect!

Next: See Taylor Swift's Best Lyrics