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Pointing to Ukraine war, arms lobby pushes for ′sustainable′ label | Business | Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW

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Just a few months ago, many people believed they’d never witness war on the ground in Europe in their lifetime. Now, some 30 years after the end of the Cold War, the chance that Russia deploys nuclear weapons in Ukraine is “not zero,” as one nuclear strategist told the New York Times this month.

But Russia’s war on Ukraine is also changing the conversation around more conventional weapons. Defense companies have watched funding slip away in recent years as the tide has turned against the controversial industry. Both retail and institutional investors have a growing appetite for investments that take environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria into account alongside financial return.

The European Commission wants to support this trend with its social taxonomy, part of the European Green Deal. This regulation, currently in development and likely still years away, will define which economic activities are considered “green” and will qualify for special EU funding.

Many ESG frameworks, though not all, used by sustainable investment funds exclude the stock of companies in the aerospace and defense industry because of their role in producing weapons.

But the war in Ukraine has cast a new light on the arms industry. As governments seek to back Ukraine without directly engaging with Russia, gifting state-of-the-art weaponry has become one of the strongest ways for military powers to signal their support. In a stark policy shift, the German government recently promised to send 1,500 anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.

Open arms for arms makers

The nearby conflict has also sent European governments scrambling to build up their own military strength. After years of resisting US pressure, last month Germany said it would increase its military spending to €100 billion ($110 billion) in 2022, more than double what it spent last year.

“We will have to invest more in the security of our country to protect our freedom and democracy,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the time.

Defense stocks surged following the news. The arms lobby and some financial institutions are seizing the moment to push their argument that defense companies should be included in ESG frameworks.

Weapons makers’ contribution to “defending the values of liberal democracies and creating a deterrent, which preserves peace and global stability” is a prerequisite for addressing other social issues, two analysts at the US investment bank Citi argued in a series of recent notes.

Swedish bank SEB has already adjusted a brand new sustainability policy to now allow its funds to invest in the defense sector.

A leap of logic

But the big fish the industry has its eyes on is the EU’s taxonomy, which the European Commission intends to be the “gold standard” guiding public and private money towards sustainable projects.

“The invasion of Ukraine shows how important it is to have strong national defense,” Hans Christoph Atzpodien, head of BDSV, a German defense industry lobby group, told Bloomberg. “I appeal to the EU to recognize the defense industry as a positive contribution to ‘social sustainability’ under the ESG taxonomy.”

But many people engaged with sustainable finance balk at this argument.

“It’s absurd to say weapons are sustainable,” said Christian Klein, professor of sustainable finance at the University of Kassel in Germany. “It’s like saying French fries are sustainable because they taste good.”

“Sustainable industries help us to become independent of totalitarian regimes,” said Andrew Murphy, director of Murphy&Spitz, a sustainable asset management firm active in Germany since the 1980s. He pointed to measures like expanding the use of renewable energies and improving public transportation.

“This is what needs to be promoted,” he told DW by email. “Not the arms industry, not weapons that kill innocent people, destroy habitats and — in the wrong hands — enable wars of aggression by power-hungry rulers.”

“If Europe had considered sustainable issues much more consistently, we wouldn’t have ended up in the terrible situation we are facing today,” he added. ” … The failure to focus on the most economically and ecologically viable form of energy, namely energy from wind and solar, is what enabled Putin to wage wars of aggression in the first place.”

Somewhere between green and brown

Professor Klein is open to discussing whether defense companies fall into an ethical gray zone, akin to where nuclear energy and the fossil fuel industry currently find themselves.

“People often assume that what is not sustainable is the opposite of sustainable,” said Klein. “Meaning what is not green is brown. That is wrong.”

It’s this misunderstanding that has companies of all stripes frustrated at the prospect of being left out of the EU’s taxonomy.

“It’s because you have nothing to do with climate change,” Klein explained to DW. “You’re selling haircuts or something. That isn’t bad. It’s nothing.”

“In the end, the taxonomy is about better financing conditions for sustainable activities or companies,” he said. “And I don’t really understand why the weapons industry should have better financing conditions.”

Edited by: Hardy Graupner





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India Inc’s management confidence improves post Covid, shows AIMA Management Capability Development Index

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Indian companies are feeling more confident about their management competence as they recover from the Covid crisis, according to a study of management capability of Indian enterprises by All India Management Association (AIMA) and KPMG.

The study findings produced a higher overall Management Capability Development Index (MCDI) score this year at 74.5 compared to 71.6 in 2018.

The survey showed that women are more confident of capacity of their organisation than men as women rated management capability of their enterprises higher than men on the majority of the 10 yardsticks, including vision and strategic leadership, performance leadership, financial leadership, external relationships, integrity and corporate governance, and innovation and adaptability. However, women score their organisations lower than men in the areas such as people leadership, organisation, and application of technology and knowledge.

The study shows a lack of substantial score upgrades in the areas of application of technology and knowledge as well as innovation and adaptability. The score on application of technology and knowledge has gone up slightly, from 72.1 in 2018 to 74 now, despite the wave of digitalization during the past couple of years. The score on innovation and adaptability has also improved a little – from 70.3 to 71.6.

The decadal trends of self-rating by Indian management showed a strong bias towards ethics. Over the past five MCDI studies, India Inc has consistently given itself the highest scores on integrity and governance – in high 70s or low 80s. This year, the score on integrity and governance has peaked at 80.4.

The areas of biggest concern through the past decade have been the organisation capability and people practices, but there is a recovery on both counts this year. On organisation capability, since 2011’s peak score of 76.2, there have been dips but now the score has recovered to 71.5. The people leadership score has also recovered this year to 73.2 after dips through the past decade.

The decadal variations have been minor on many management parameters. The scores have hovered around mid-70s on competencies such as vision and strategic leadership, performance leadership, financial leadership, and external relationships.

“The MCDI report provides important insights to Indian management leaders to bolster their organisations as they prepare for realigning their organisations in a changed world,” AIMA President CK Ranganathan said in a press note.

“It takes immense management capability to navigate through uncertainty and ambiguity,” Ranganathan said.

The 2022 MCDI study was conducted across different sectors and different types and sizes of organisations to make it representative of Indian management.



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Delta 2023: Urhobo Renaissance Society Advocates Unity in Diversity

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Urhobo leaders

This is because, the last few weeks in the state and elsewhere in Nigeria have been characterised by a barrage of political commentaries and opinions across socio-political groups, associations and critical stakeholders in the the state. Unfortunately, some of these views, according to URS, “seem to divide us more than unite us as a people.”

One of the major submissions of the group is that an Urhobo son should be governor of Delta in 2023.

Below is the press statement by URS

2023 Governorship Election in Delta State: Matters Arising

The last few weeks in Delta State and elsewhere in Nigeria have been characterised by a barrage of political commentaries and opinions across socio-political groups, associations and critical stakeholders in the the state. Unfortunately, some of these views seem to divide us more than unite us as a people.

The URS wishes to join this conversation by propagating the doctrine of unity in diversity for the overall good of the Urhobo nation in particular, and Delta State in general.

We respect the right of the UPU as the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Urhobo nation to make crucial decisions on behalf of the Urhobo Nation.

By the same token,  we respect the right of persons and groups to lend their voices to the subject. However, we caution that such voices should be tactful, objective and devoid of divisive undertones at this crucial moment in Urhobo’s agenda to produce the Governor of State in 2023.

After studying the unfolding political planks and consulting critical political stakeholders in Delta state, The URS, in line with its non-partisan and neutral posture, joins the conversation with the following statement.

  1. We remind all stakeholders that an Urhobo ‘son’ must emerge as the Governor of Delta State in 2023. In effect, it is our utmost desire that Urhobo sons should emerge as governorship flagbearers of their respective political parties. That way, we are guaranteed that an Urhobo will eventually emerge as Governor. To that extent, we appeal to all critical stakeholders in all political parties in the state to work towards handing the ticket to an Urhobo son. In other words, our primary concern is the emergence of an Urhobo son as Governor in 2023;
  2. We believe that primary elections are within the purview of political parties and therefore have no plans of poking into the activities of political parties in their statutory responsibility of electing flagbearers. But because the eventual choice will directly affect the quality of life and development of Deltans, we must lobby and appeal that the candidate with the best qualification in human and capital development, experience and capacity to provide quality leadership for our dream Delta be handed the tickets of their respective parties. In effect, we are appealing to the delegate to please consider these criteria when they set out to choose the flagbearer of their respective parties. Also, we especially appeal to delegates from Delta central to think URHOBO FIRST when they cast their votes; and that no gratification of whatever kind should influence the choice of the eventual candidate. Therefore, to guide all delegates in their choice of the governorship candidate, we appeal that only the aspirant with a very clear and practical blueprint for the development of Delta state be allowed to lead the state;
  3. It is most desirable that the flagbearers of all the political parties in the Gubernatorial race are not imposed by any perceived Godfather(s) whether in or out of Government. Endorsements are a common feature of political contests in democratic climes and that should not necessitate caustic, insulting and derogatory attacks on perceived enemies. We are perplexed that most public commentaries in the state are tainted with party loyalty and the attitude of labelling enemies out of those who hold contrary views or differing strategies. We want to re-direct the minds of Urhobo delegates in the parties to issues of competence and allegiance to good corporate governance of the State.
  4. We salute the courage of the various Urhobo sons who have indicated their interest and preparedness to run for the primary elections of all the parties, and we also salute their supporters for their unflinching support. We however believe that the plurality of Urhobo aspirants is not helpful to our cause. We urge the various aspirants to begin a self internalized process of dropping individual ambitions to support a superior candidate of choice in the race. Let’s narrow the options. We must remind one and all of the need to stay healthy with their support, that only one aspirant will eventually emerge as flag-bearer, and that it will be counterproductive to burn all the bridges in the course of their respective support; and, most especially, because we still have a life of nationalism to live after the elections;
  5. To preserve the chastity and sacrosanctity of the gentleman’s arrangement of rotating the governorship position among the three senatorial zones of Delta state—a practice that has helped in dismantling mutual distrust, and erected mutual respect in its place, we call on other senatorial zones to support the Urhobo 2023 Governorship Agenda to sustain the reciprocity that has characterized the emergence of Governors in the state since the present political dispensation;
  6. We call on all Urhobo sons and daughters to be even more united at this critical stage of our existence as a nation; because in the long run, we are all pursuing the same goal of a united Delta, and an Urhobo Governor with the right mentality, capacity, experience and qualification to lead the industrialization of Delta state.
  7. Finally, we call on Governor Okowa to use his capacity as our Governor to provide a level playing ground for all political participants in the state, and across political parties to exercise their constitutional rights for the overall good of Delta state.

Long Live Urhobo Renaissance Society

Long Live Delta State

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Signed;           

Prof. Hope Eghagha – President

Prof. Joseph Abugu (SAN)- Vice President

Dr John Uwa- Gen. Secretary

Dr. (Mrs) Cassidy Treasurer

Omiregua Joshua Oweibo- Fin. Sec

Engr. Akpojoto Okiti

Mr Mideno Bayagbon

Mrs. Jite Ellen

Mr. Obaro Osah

Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

Prof. Sunny Awhefeada

Mr. Teddy Okumakebe

Chief (Dr) Richard Iyede

 



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OffGamers Adds Direct Top-Up Option for China Platforms – Corporate Governance News Today

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OffGamers Adds Direct Top-Up Option for China Platforms – Corporate Governance News Today – EIN Presswire

























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