Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort offers stunning ocean views, a stylish beach club and ample meeting space on the idyllic Sal Island

SAL, Cape Verde, January 31, 2018/ -- Hilton (NYSE: HLT) ( marked the official opening of its spectacular new resort on the Island of Sal in Cabo Verde, announcing the company’s debut in the country and further growing the brand's portfolio of world-class resorts.

Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton’s president for Middle East, Africa and Turkey, and the company’s area vice president of operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan van der Putten, were joined at the hotel’s opening ceremony by the country’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia, Justice Minster Janine Lelis, the hotel’s owners, and a host of dignitaries, ambassadors and guests.

Speaking at the event, Jan van der Putten said: “Cabo Verde is a fast-growing tourism destination that offers amazing weather year-round, a rich culture and pristine beaches, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Sal with our world-renowned Hilton service and hospitality. We have an incredible product here and we expect to drive great business and opportunity to the hotel and to Cabo Verde as we look to expand in the country.”

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort boasts of a stunning natural stone pool set within a lush tropical garden. Guests can enjoy a 24-hour fitness center, a kids club with a children's pool and a nautical center for diving and sailing adventures. The hotel also features a beauty salon and Hilton's signature eforea Spa concept with a wet area and eight treatment rooms.

Guests and local residents can enjoy a variety of dining options on-property, including:

THE BOUNTY BEACH CLUB: Blending international cuisine with Creole hospitality, Bounty Beach Club offers a casual but refined dining experience serving innovative specialties. Through the afternoon and into the night, guests can enjoy world-class cocktails while listening to the restaurant's DJ.

POOL BAR: The Pool Bar offers a range of colorful and healthy food and drink options, including fruit juices and natural cocktails that guests can sip while relaxing by the pool.

CIZE BAR: In the evenings, guests can enjoy a carefully prepared cocktail or a glass of chilled wine at Cize Bar. As the sun sets, jazz, soul and Cape Verdean music add to the venue's unique ambience.

MAGELLAN: Inspired by the sailing routes of the discoverers of the new world, Magellan is the hotel's all-day dining restaurant and features a rich buffet with open cooking demonstrations and a selection of international dishes.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is also the only hotel in the area to offer 24-hour room service and a minibar.

With over 1,000 square meters of flexible meeting and events space, including a 300 square-meter ballroom with high ceilings, Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is ideal for business groups, small meetings and social events. The hotel also offers wedding packages which allow couples to celebrate their special day on the scenic beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

“Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is a world-class destination resort that caters to the increasing demand for next level hospitality in Cabo Verde,” said Alejandro Casamor, general manager. “With a beach club, flexible meeting space and a host of other facilities, Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is poised to become the preferred choice for travelers visiting the country.”

Each of the hotel's 241 spacious guest rooms features a 50-inch LED television, Wi-Fi and a balcony or terrace. All rooms span at least 39 square meters, while suites offer at least 75 square meters of space. In addition, guests staying in Oceanfront Suites or in the Presidential Suite will be able to enjoy breathtaking ocean views.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider ( that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app. Diamond members will enjoy free Premium speed Wi-Fi, space-available upgrades, complimentary breakfast and 1,000 Bonus Points per stay. Gold members will have the option of a complimentary, continental breakfast or 1,000 Bonus Points per stay.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is located at Avenida Dos Hoteis, Santa Maria, 4111, Cabo Verde, just 15 kilometers away from Sal International Airport. For more information, or to make a reservation, call +238-3344444 or visit here ( to book.

Media may access additional information and images at (

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Hilton.

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About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) ( is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,100 properties with nearly 838,000 rooms in 103 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook (, Twitter (, LinkedIn (,  Instagram ( and YouTube (

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts ( has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 570 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at and learn more about the brand by visiting or following us on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (


Should We Follow Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Example In Retrieving Stolen Taxpayers' Cash?

Saudia Arabia's new crown prince, Prince  Mohammed bin Salman, has succeeded in getting corrupt wealthy Saudi nationals and foreign residents in the kingdom, to refund monies and assets totaling some U.S.$107 billion, thus far,  which they cheated Saudi Arabia  out of, over the years.

It is an example we ought to follow in the fight against high-level corruption in Ghana, perhaps.

The question is: If we are going to grant amnesty to tax dodgers in the not too distant future, why do we not also grant immunity from prosecution to wealthy individuals who have cheated Mother Ghana in sundry  crooked public procurement deals, if they agree to admit to their crimes and repay the sums they cheated our nation out of, plus interest? Every pesewa, of it, that is?

In that regard, to inspire those who currently lead our nation, we have culled  a news story by  Robert Anderson, from the online version  of Gulf News,  which reports the latest success of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia.

Please read on:

[Gulf Business]
Saudi says $107bn received in corruption settlements

The assets were handed over in the form of real estate, commercial entities, securities and cash
Robert Anderson
Tuesday 30 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said on Tuesday the kingdom had received settlements exceeding SAR400bn ($106.7bn) from detainees following the winding down of the first phase of a corruption purge.

In comments carried by Saudi Press Agency, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption subpoenaed 381 people in total from the date of a royal order in early November, many of whom were summoned to testify and provide evidence.

A review of all the cases relating to those accused of corruption is now complete and negotiations with those willing to settle in exchange for their freedom have concluded.

Cases were transferred to the Public Prosecution, which decided to release those that had settled and admitted to wrongdoing or had insufficient evidence supporting the allegations against them.

The prosecution decided to keep in custody 56 individuals the attorney general had refused to settle with “due to other pending criminal cases, in order to continue the investigations process, and in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations”.

This was down from 95 last week.

Read: Saudi to recover more than $100bn in corruption settlements

Al Mojeb said that the estimated value of the settlements received so far exceeded SAR400bn and they came in the form of real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets.

He previously stated in November that at least $100bn of funds had been misused through “systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades”.

Read: Saudi attorney general says $100bn misused through “systematic corruption”

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the kingdom had closed a detention centre for those snared by the anti-graft drive at Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Read: Saudi closes hotel detention centre

This followed the release of a number of high profile businessmen over the weekend including billionaire Prince Alwaleed and the founder of Middle East broadcaster MBC, Waleed al-Ibrahim.

The exact settlements both men agreed to are unknown.

Read: Shares in Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding soar, but banks cautious

Read: MBC’s Ibrahim to keep control of broadcaster after detention

In an interview with Reuters at his suite in the Ritz-Carlton hours before he was released on Saturday, Prince Alwaleed said he had been well-treated in custody and described his detention case as a misunderstanding.

Those that are still being detained face potential court cases in Riyadh and Jeddah, with Saudi Gazette reporting special criminal circuits of three judges each had been established at criminal courts in both locations.

Read: Saudi courts prepare framework for corruption detainees

They are expected to face 14 charges ranging from bribery to forgery, money laundering, power misuse, dissipating public funds and amassing wealth at the expense of the government.

Finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said last week the settlements would be used to fund $13.3bn of financial handouts to help citizens cope with the rising cost of living.

Read: Saudi king orders new payments to offset rising living costs
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An Open Letter To Ghana's Second Lady Mrs. Bawumia

Dear Mrs. Bawumia,

I shall go straight to the point: keep an eagle's eye on your husband. Make sure he and your children eat only organically produced food. And make Dr. Mercola's website your go-to-source for leading-edge medical information and best practice that will enable all of you to live healthy and truly happy lives. Ameen.

Secondly, get the Ghana High Commission in London to help you arrange a meeting between  the leadership of the UK monetary reform advocacy group, Positive Money UK, and your husband the vice president. You will be doing our country a great disservice if you fail to do so. Get your girlfriends in academia to form a branch of the International Movement for Monetary Reform (IMMR) in Ghana to propagate its very sensible and innovative nation-building building ideas.

Since your husband is a highly-intelligent gentleman, meeting with Positive Money UK will open his eyes, so to speak, and free him from the straightjacket of conventional economic thinking - a deadend in a world increasingly becoming poisoned by thoughtless economic growth that is oblivious of the fact that the human race's one biosphere is fragile: and could become so pulluted and environmentally degraded that large parts of it will become unhabitable for humans. We must spare our beautiful country that apocalyptic end.

It behoves us all to ensure that future generations of our people are spared from suffering that cruel fate - by focusing on greening our national economy. Madam, it might interest you to know that Thailand made a staggering U.S.$72 billion from the 31 million visitors it hosted, in 2016. The question is: What has Thailand got that Mother Ghana hasn't got?

Instead of tearing down the Atewa Range upland evergreen rainforest to mine relatively poor-quality bauxite for an integrated aluminium industry, your husband's government must rather turn it into a national park - so that the  wondrous and awe-inspiring beauty of a part of  our country designated a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), can be enjoyed by millions from Ghana and around the world till the very end of time - creating jobs galore for young people and wealth that stays in Ghana throughout that period.

Speaking personally, even though I dislike your  party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), I support President Akufo-Addo 100 percent - because he is committed to protecting our nation's natural heritage:  by deeds not words. His regime must be helped by all discerning and patriotic Ghanains who care about the well-beingnof  our younger generations for that reason.

Finally, doubtless, as a caring mother and wife who follows the Prophet Mohammed's (peace be upon him)  admonishment to the wealthy that they must support the disadvantaged in society,  do purchase  a copy of 'The Big Issue' magazine whiles in London -  so that both you and the vice president your husband can read  it during your stay there.

As it happens, we are launching one in Ghana and would like you to be one of  its patrons. We will be an  ethical alternative to Ghana's mostly-compromised mainstream media - obsessed with nation-wrecking sensationalism, publishing half-truths and egregious fake news.

'The Big Issue Ghana' magazine will help resolve Ghana's youth unemployment crisis, streetism and homelessness, one copy at a time - by giving Ghana's base-of-the-pyramid demographic micro-entrepreneurial opportunities as vendors who make good margins selling what will be a very good read: that adds value to readers' lives, and, above all, is a force for good in Ghanaian society.

May Allah bless, protect and guide you and your husband always.

Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,

  • Kofi.

Dr. Mercola: Get This Out of Your Home Today, It Could Trigger a Heart Attack

Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

    January 31, 2018 • 9,849 views Edition: English


indoor air pollution
Story at-a-glance

    Ninety-two percent of the world population breathe polluted air, and about 7 million deaths are attributed to air pollution each year; a toxic environment is responsible for 1 of every 4 deaths reported worldwide
    Indoor air pollution can be as dangerous, or more, than outdoor air pollution. Indoor air is often more contaminated to begin with, and most people spend over 90 percent of their time indoors
    The level of air pollution in your home can be two to five times higher than outside, and some of the pollutants you breathe can be as much as 100 times more concentrated indoors
    Two primary sources of indoor air pollution are the materials used to construct the building itself and everything in it, including your furniture, and chemical products you bring into your home
    Airtight modern buildings need to be properly ventilated to prevent or reduce the buildup of indoor air pollution. One of the easiest ways to improve your indoor air quality is to open your windows every day

By Dr. Mercola

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 92 percent of the world population breathe polluted air,1 and about 7 million deaths are attributed to air pollution each year.2 Overall, a toxic environment is responsible for at least 1 of every 4 deaths reported worldwide,3 and air pollution is the greatest contributor to this risk. Your body is dependent on the air you breathe and poor air quality can cause serious damage to your lungs, heart and other organ systems.

According to WHO, air pollution is a major contributor to lung and respiratory infections, heart disease and cancer. What many fail to consider is that indoor air pollution may actually be as dangerous, or more, than outdoor air pollution.

For starters, indoor air is often more contaminated to begin with. If you’re like most, you also spend far more time indoors than out. Sociological studies suggest Americans spend nearly 92 percent of their day indoors. Of the remaining 8 percent, only 2 percent is spent in the open outdoors; 6 percent is spent in transit between home and work.4

This means your indoor air quality is really important to your long-term health. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that indoor air pollution is one of the top public health risks you face on a daily basis.5 According to the EPA, the level of air pollution in your home can be two to five times higher than outside, and some of the pollutants you breathe can be as much as 100 times more concentrated indoors.6
Health Risks Associated With Air Pollution 

In the short term, symptoms of exposure to indoor air pollution resemble symptoms you experience from an allergy or a cold, such as7 worsening asthma; itchy, watery eyes; headaches; dizziness; fatigue and runny nose. These symptoms typically disappear once you leave the problem area. Chronic exposure to air pollution over a longer period of time, however, may result in more chronic and serious conditions, including:8,9,10

Bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, accelerated aging of lung tissue, lung tissue redness and swelling, wheezing and shortness of breath

Premature death

Cancer. According to research published this year, the greater your total pollution exposure, the higher your risk for cancer11

Poor sleep. Recent research12 demonstrates two widespread pollutants — nitrogen dioxide (traffic-related air pollution) and PM2.5 (fine-particle pollution) — disrupt sleep and decrease sleep efficiency (a measure of the time spent actually sleeping as opposed to lying in bed awake).

People with the highest PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide exposure were 50 and 60 percent more likely to have low sleep efficiency over a five-year period compared to those with the lowest exposure, respectively

High blood pressure,13 heart attack14 and stroke

Decreased cognitive function15

Developmental delays in children

Reproductive problems
What Causes Air Pollution Indoors?

Two primary sources of indoor air pollution are a) the materials used to construct the building itself and everything in it, including your furniture, and b) chemical products you bring into your home. Common culprits include aerosols such as hair spray and room deodorizers. Many of these sources release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have both short term and long term health effects.

Paying careful attention to these two broad categories can go a long way toward improving your indoor air quality. When rebuilding or refurbishing your home, be sure to look for “green” materials that are free of toxic chemicals. This goes for everything from furniture, upholstery and carpeting to wall construction materials and paint. At the end of this article, I’ll provide a number of other remedial action items as well.

Modern buildings are also more airtight, for efficiency purposes, and need to be properly ventilated to prevent or reduce the buildup of indoor air pollution.16 One of the easiest ways to improve your indoor air quality is to open your windows each day to get some cross ventilation going. Even if the air outside isn’t pristine, it’s likely to be better than what’s built up inside your home.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants and Their Sources

So, what might you be breathing inside your home? The following table is a summary of some of the most common pollutants and toxic particles found in indoor air, and some of their most common sources.


Water damage, high humidity regions and humid areas of homes such as bathrooms and basements. Most common molds are Aspergillus, Stachybotrys and Penicillium; Aspergillus is a primary food for dust mites.

Bioaerosols (biocontaminants such as airborne bacteria and viruses)

Humans, pets, moist surfaces, humidifiers, ventilation systems, drip pans, cooling coils in air handling units (can cause Legionnaires' disease and "humidifier fever")

Combustion by-products

Unvented kerosene and gas heaters, gas appliances, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces, tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust from attached garages

Tobacco smoke

Cigarettes, cigars and pipes


Pressed wood products such as plywood and fiberboard, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, mattresses, clothing, nail polish, permanent press textiles, glue and adhesives, stoves, fireplaces, automobile exhaust


Pressure-treated wood products used for decks and playground equipment are often treated with arsenic-containing pesticides

VOCs17 such as benzene and toluene

Paints, solvents, wood preservatives, wood glue, aerosol sprays, household cleaners and disinfectants, copy machines/printers/faxes, carpets, moth repellents, air fresheners, dry cleaned clothes, hobby supplies, pesticides, stored fuels and car products

Flame retardant chemicals such as PCBs, PBDE, tris phosphate, TPHP and Firemaster 550

Polyurethane foam cushions, carpeting, mattresses, children's items such as car seats, electronics, yoga mats, rubber exercise mats


Vinyl flooring, food packaging, shower curtains, wall coverings, adhesives, detergents, personal care products, toys, PVC pipe


Pest control poisons, garden and lawn chemicals


Deteriorating or damaged asbestos-containing insulation, fireproofing and/or acoustical materials

Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium

Paints, cars, tobacco smoke, soil and dust. Also major industrial air pollutants

Radon (a radioactive gas that comes from uranium)

Building materials such as granite, well water, soil, outdoor air, smoke detectors, certain clocks and watches.

Hazardous levels of radon can be found in 1 in 15 American homes, and radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.
Strategies to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Most of us, regardless of where we live, can benefit from addressing our indoor air quality. If you’ve been putting this off, look through the list of action items below, and commit to implementing one or more of them. If need be, schedule it in your calendar so you don’t forget.

Not only will you reduce your risk of developing chronic health conditions, research shows improving air quality also benefits your mental health by reducing psychological stress.18 Most of these strategies are very cost effective in the short run and may help significantly reduce your health care costs long-term. 

Use a high-quality air purifier

Not all filters work with the same efficiency to remove pollutants from your home and no one filter can remove all pollutants. See this article for an explanation of the different types of air filters to meet your specific needs.

Overall, photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is one of the best technologies available. Rather than merely filtering the air, PCO actually cleans the air using ultraviolet light. Unlike filters, which simply trap pollutants, PCO transforms the pollutants into nontoxic substances. In addition to using them in your home, portable air purifiers are available to take with you when you work or travel.

Install a water filter

Chlorine becomes airborne during a shower, and combined with high humidity levels in the bathroom increases the amount of chlorine you inhale. Shop for a filter with NSF/ANSI 177: Shower Filtration Systems-Aesthetic Effects. These filters are tested by a third party to effectively remove chlorine.19,20 

Add air purifying plants

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), University of Georgia and Pennsylvania State University have demonstrated that potted plants in your home can improve your air quality.21 Plants remove pollutants by absorbing them through their leaves and roots, in much the same way they clean the outdoor air from the pollution given off by manufacturing plants, cars and heating systems.

The top 10 plants to improve air quality are22 aloe, English ivy, rubber tree, peace lily, snake plant, bamboo palm, philodendron, spider plant, red-edge dracaena and golden pathos. The following video by the American Chemical Society reviews the research and explains how houseplants may be used to reduce the pollutants found in your home.

Open your windows

One of the easiest ways to reduce the pollutants in your home is to open your windows. Opening windows on the opposing sides of your home will effectively create cross ventilation. Because most newer homes are energy efficient and have little leakage, even opening a window 15 minutes a day can improve your indoor air quality.

Take off your shoes

Taking off your shoes at the door will help prevent tracking dust and toxic particles into your home.

Remove harsh cleaning products and scented household products

Most cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Ditto for air fresheners and scented candles. Research has linked once-weekly use of cleaning products with a 24 to 32 percent higher risk of progressive lung disease.23

Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and effective options. Soap and water, or vinegar and baking soda, for example, can serve as inexpensive alternatives.24 The strategies outlined in my previous article, "Are Household Products Killing Us?" help reduce your toxic load. Consider trying some of these suggestions to clean your home using simple products you may already have in your cabinets.

    Borax: This form of baking soda acts as a whitener and will boost your detergent power. Add between one-fourth cup and 1 cup to your laundry, depending on the size of your load.
    Vinegar: A weak acid, this common liquid is a natural cleaning substance that also deodorizes. Consider adding between one-fourth cup and one-half cup to your laundry with your detergent and wash as usual. Don't mix the borax with vinegar in the same load as they neutralize each other. Vinegar is also a good general all-purpose cleaner for your kitchen and bathroom, and works great for cleaning mirrors and windows.
    Homemade scouring powder: Make your own safe scouring powder for soap scum in the bath by combining two parts baking soda, and one part each of borax and salt.

Avoid powders

Powders — be they cleansing scrubs, talcum or other personal care powders — can be problematic as they float and linger in the air after each use. Many powders are allergens due to their tiny size, and can cause respiratory problems.

Air out dry-cleaned clothes

Avoid hanging dry-cleaned clothing in your closet as soon as you bring them home. Instead, hang them outside for an entire day or two if possible. Better yet, see if there's an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your city that uses some of the newer dry cleaning technologies, such as liquid CO2.

Regularly service fuel burning appliances

A poorly maintained furnace, space heater, hot water heater, water softener, natural gas heater or stove and other fuel burning appliances may leak carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide. Have your appliances serviced per the manufacturer’s recommendations to reduce potential indoor air pollution. You may also need to upgrade your furnace filters. Today, there are more elaborate filters capable of trapping more particulates.

Regularly clean your air conditioner

Your air conditioner may harbor dangerous bacteria. On several occasions, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease have been traced back to contaminated air conditioner units. Most people don’t even consider their uncared-for air conditioner might be toxic and sapping their health. The compressor might be outside your house, but inside, often in the attic or basement, is usually where the condensation occurs.

The pan that sits underneath the handler to collect it is connected to a drain tube. The pan can get clogged fairly frequently, which creates an extremely friendly environment for harmful bacteria to grow. The transition from cold to warm weather can also create water condensation that then sits there, turning stagnant. It may even cause scaly buildup on metal pieces, indicating the accumulation of a potentially deadly bacteria.

Consider a heat recovery ventilator (HRV)

Because most newer homes are more airtight and therefore more energy efficient, air exchange with outdoor air is more difficult. Some builders are now installing HRV systems to help prevent condensation and mold growth and improve indoor air quality.25

If you can't afford to install an HRV, open your windows and run the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to vent your indoor air to the outside. You don't have to do this for more than 15 to 20 minutes each day and should do it summer and winter at times when the temperature outside is closest to your indoor temperature.

In humid locales, use a dehumidifier

Mold grows in damp and humid environments. Use a dehumidifier and air conditioner to keep the humidity indoors below 50 percent. Make sure to clean both units regularly.

Never smoke indoors

Ask smokers to go outside. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, pipes and cigars contains over 200 known carcinogenic chemicals, endangering your health. The same applies to e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

Test your home for radon

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas linked to lung cancer. It may be trapped under your home during construction and can leak into your air system over time. Radon testing kits are a quick and cheap way to determine if radon is an issue in your home.

Invest in a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner

Standard bag or bagless vacuum cleaners are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality. A regular vacuum cleaner typically has about a 20-micron tolerance. Although that's tiny, far more microscopic particles flow right through the vacuum cleaner than it actually picks up.

Beware of cheaper knock-offs that profess to have "HEPA-like" filters — get the real deal. HEPA filters do a great job picking up tiny particles, but some are too small even for a HEPA. These include VOCs. To filter these out, activated carbon filters are typically recommended.26

Avoid storing chemicals indoors

Avoid storing paints, adhesives, solvents, and other harsh chemicals in your house. If you must have them, keep them in a detached garage or shed.

Use nontoxic cookware

Avoid using cookware with nonstick coating, as these pots and pans can release toxins into the air when heated.
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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Exclusive Interview of U.N. Chief António Guterres discussing African peace and security

Tonight at 18:45 WAT on Africanews TV until February 3

POINTE NOIRE, Congo (Republic of the), January 30, 2018/ -- The United Nations Chief gave an interview to Irene Herman Houngbo, our correspondent in New-York. António Guterres discussed about peace and security in Africa as part of the fight against terrorism. He also talked about the actions of the United Nations on the African continent.

Find some excerpts below:

About the relevance of peacekeeping operations

According to the situation, peacekeeping operations are necessary. This has been the case in Liberia and Ivory Coast where we have just successfully concluded two major operations, following the conflicts. And when appropriate like in Somalia, we need to have peace enforcement and anti-terrorism operations.

About the role of African States to help the United Nations in these missions

The African States are absolutely key. The cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations is an exemplary cooperation. The African countries have demonstrated in the framework of the maintenance of peace, a generosity and an effectiveness of several situations which are truly remarkable.

About the repression on the citizens in Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo

In the Congo where we have a mission, it should be at any price that the timing of the elections is respected. And overall, when there are demonstrations, we request that the protests are not violent and also that the police forces respect human rights, avoid excessive violence and respect religious sites.

To watch the full interview, click here (

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About Africanews
Africanews (, launched in 2016 (digital in January, TV in April), stands out as the first pan-African multilingual media source produced simultaneously in French and English, and offering coverage of African and global news from a sub-Saharan perspective.

Today, Africanews TV is available in 38 countries and 9.5 million homes across sub-Saharan Africa thanks to major pay-tv players and national channels (partial broadcast). The Africanews signal covers sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands via two satellites: SES 4 and SES 5.

Africanews’ digital platforms, available around the world, highlights the challenges and opportunities of a connected Africa:
- has a responsive website design to suited to all mobile, tablet and computer screens.
- two YouTube channels (in English and French) ( and and Facebook ( and Twitter accounts @africanews and @africanews.

Africanews is a 100% Euronews subsidiary. Africanews adheres to the same editorial charter as its European sister channel, Euronews.


[NASA HQ News] NASA TV to Air Russian Spacewalk at the International Space Station

January 30, 2018

NASA TV to Air Russian Spacewalk at the International Space Station
cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin conducts a spacewalk outside the International Space Station
Clad in a Russian Orlan spacesuit, cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin conducts a spacewalk outside the International Space Station Aug. 22, 2013, during Expedition 36. On Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, Misurkin will participate in the fourth spacewalk of his career.
Credits: NASA
Download high-resolution image.

Two veteran Russian cosmonaut spacewalkers will venture outside the International Space Station on Friday, Feb. 2, for a planned 6.5-hour station servicing session. Live coverage of the spacewalk will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 9:45 a.m. EST.

Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin and Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are set to float out of the space station’s Pirs docking compartment airlock in Russian Orlan spacesuits at 10:34 a.m.

Misurkin and Shkaplerov’s primary objectives during the spacewalk will be to remove and jettison an electronics box for a high-gain communications antenna on the Zvezda service module and install an upgraded electronics box to communication between Russian flight controllers and the Russian modules of the orbital outpost. The cosmonauts also will take detailed photos of the exterior of the Russian modules and retrieve experiments housed on Zvezda’s hull.

The Russian spacewalk will be the fourth in Misurkin’s career and the second for Shkaplerov, as well as the 207th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Both of their suits will be marked with blue stripes.


Press Contacts Aug. 22, 2013, during Expedition 36. On Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, Misurkin will participate in the fourth spacewalk of his career.
Credits: NASA
Download high-resolution image.

Two veteran Russian cosmonaut spacewalkers will venture outside the International Space Station on Friday, Feb. 2, for a planned 6.5-hour station servicing session. Live coverage of the spacewalk will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 9:45 a.m. EST.

Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin and Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are set to float out of the space station’s Pirs docking compartment airlock in Russian Orlan spacesuits at 10:34 a.m.

Misurkin and Shkaplerov’s primary objectives during the spacewalk will be to remove and jettison an electronics box for a high-gain communications antenna on the Zvezda service module and install an upgraded electronics box to communication between Russian flight controllers and the Russian modules of the orbital outpost. The cosmonauts also will take detailed photos of the exterior of the Russian modules and retrieve experiments housed on Zvezda’s hull.

The Russian spacewalk will be the fourth in Misurkin’s career and the second for Shkaplerov, as well as the 207th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Both of their suits will be marked with blue stripes.


Brett J. Fox: What You Need To Learn From Uber CEO's Firing

Are you a startup CEO? Sign up for my best advice on how to 2X, 3X, and 10X your business

Brett J. Fox
What You Need To Learn From Uber CEO's Firing
By Brett Fox

There is this false belief that the way to keep control of your company as an entrepreneur is by owning a majority of the stock or creating special classes of stock so you control the voting rights. The concept is pretty is simple: You control the votes, so you can't be voted out of being CEO.

I think the Uber story debunks the myth that controlling the voting rights will keep you control.

Travis created a dual share class structure that effectively gave him control of the voting rights for the company. Yet the investors still were able to fire him.

Here was this Uber-successful company that one of its investor thought could be worth over $100B due in large part the CEO’s vision and drive, and the CEO was fired.

The particulars of what Travis did or didn’t do aren’t really important. What is important is understanding that nothing will protect you if screw up.

If you take venture funding, you need to understand that your investors (rightfully) will do whatever they need to do to protect their investment. Period.

Nothing you will protect you if screw up. Nothing.

The remedy to keeping yourself CEO is simple: Don’t screw up.

Here’s some things to keep in mind:

A. Your investors do not want to replace you.

Most venture investments are not successful. And investors have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to save failing companies.

That’s why, contrary to popular belief, your investors want you to do great. They want you knock it out of the park. The last thing in the world they want is to have to deal with another problem company with a problem CEO.

B. Your company culture really does matter.

Creating the right type of culture is actually the most likely indicator of success. And it turns out a commitment culture where your team never wants to leave is the by far the most successful for startups (read: Why Your Startup Culture Is The Key To Your Company's Success).

More importantly don’t create a culture that is sexist, xenophobic, homophobic or in any way isn’t respectful of others. Diversity is a virtue, not a curse. You will not attract the best and the brightest if you do not respect others.

C. Focus on execution.

You are likely to stay CEO if you execute your plan. Too many entrepreneurs believe that being CEO means they are the king.

Not really. Because you will not stay king very long unless you execute to your plan. Remember your investors are expecting a return on their investment.

D. Your next round of funding is never guaranteed.

One of the classic lines you will hear investors say is, “Don’t worry about the next round of funding, we will support you.” And they’re right they will support you, but there is something they’re not saying, and that is…

“Until we decide not to support you any more.”

In other words, things change. And the investing climate can change too. Don’t assume there is a bottomless pit of money that will come. The money will eventually dry up unless you get to cash-flow positive.

There are some investors unfortunately that have a Ponzi-scheme type approach (read: Why You Should Ignore The Rise Of The Unicorns) to investing where they believe there will always be another investor willing to value the company at a higher valuation as long as you grow the top line.

Uber, despite its incredible top line growth, was wickedly unprofitable. The only way to feed the beast was through more and more investment.

Eventually every company has to turn a profit and start making money. You need to have a plan to get cash flow positive.

E. Don’t be so obsessed with crazy ways of keeping control of your company.

If anything, trying to keep control of your company through voting rights will make it harder, not easier to raise money. Remember that because it’s unbelievably difficult to raise money.

And, even if you are successful getting 10:1 voting rights in your favor like Travis did, it will be like a speed bump for investors if they want to fire you. He who controls the money controls you because they have the power.
Do You Want To Grow Your Business? Maybe I Can Help.  Click Here.

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FTI Journal/Anthony J. Ferrante: Should I Fear the Reaper?

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Should I Fear the Reaper?
Should I Fear the Reaper?

In the first of a new series in which FTI Consulting experts answer timely questions about matters affecting business, FTI's Head of Cybersecurity, Anthony J. Ferrante, offers insight about Reaper, a malware that can lie dormant in corporate computer systems.

You should very much fear the Reaper, just as you should fear the possibility of any malware infecting your computer system — even if your system shows no obvious signs of infection.

To understand the risk of Reaper, let’s first define some terms. Malware is an umbrella term that encompasses harmful software. Some malware strikes immediately and seizes control of a computer system. Others lie dormant without detection, creating vulnerabilities in a system that can be exploited later.

Reaper lies dormant. First spotted by researchers at an Israeli security firm in October 2017, it seeks out devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to gain access to larger computer systems. It then recruits those devices to a network called a “botnet.” Botnets are capable of stealing data, sending spam, and performing countless destructive actions that can slow down or even upend an organization’s operations.

    "In the US, Reaper has the potential to reach as many as two million devices."

The rise of Reaper has eerily mirrored an earlier malware called Mirai, which crashed 900,000 routers in November 2016. In fact, much of Reaper has been built off of Mirai. But unlike its predecessor, Reaper uses a more efficient process to attempt to penetrate a network. It pokes and pries at devices until it finds a way in, and then it spreads by sending malicious code to different devices. So far, Reaper has infected an estimated 60 percent of Israeli IoT networks. In the US, Reaper has the potential to reach as many as two million devices.

What’s most concerning for organizations, however, is the fact Reaper may have already impacted network devices without any indication of attack.

The best way to protect your organization is to remain vigilant and maintain a proactive strategy. IT services should check to make sure that their networks aren’t part of the vulnerability problem. There are specific security patches available through vendors, along with indicators of compromise and the location of various Reaper control networks that your security professionals should track.

Because so many IoT devices are in the hands of employees, they are particularly vulnerable to Reaper. Employees may not update their device firmware or miss out on notification from vendors. Furthermore, these updates can be difficult to install, and if not done properly, can result in faulty service that will offer little to no protection.

Thus, frequent and standardized outreach to all employees that emphasizes the need to update devices is imperative. And, if possible, an IT expert must confirm device management is done properly.

About the Expert: Anthony J. Ferrante is Senior Managing Director and Head of Cybersecurity in FTI Consulting’s Global Risk & Investigation Practice. He is the former Director for Cyber Incident Response at the U.S. National Security Council and the former Chief of Staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division.

Published January 2018

© Copyright 2018. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.
About The Author

Anthony J. Ferrante
Head of Cybersecurity, Senior Managing Director
Global Risk & Investigations Practice (GRIP)
Forensic & Litigation Consulting
FTI Consulting

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Investopedia/Steven Nickolas: The 4 Best S&P 500 Index Funds


The 4 Best S&P 500 Index Funds
By Steven Nickolas | Updated October 25, 2017 — 10:17 AM EDT

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) is an index of 500 of the largest U.S. companies, listed on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ, selected by the Standard & Poor's Index Committee based on market capitalization. The S&P 500 Index is a widely recognized barometer of the U.S. equity market. S&P 500 Index funds allow investors to establish a core allocation in large-cap U.S. equities, which have been advised by one of the most iconic American investors, Warren Buffet, also known as the Oracle of Omaha. S&P 500 Index funds seek to replicate the performance of the benchmark index by investing in S&P 500 constituents with similar weights. These funds employ a passive or indexing investment strategy and invest all or a substantial amount of their total net assets in common stocks included in the benchmark index.
Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares

The Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares seeks to provide investment results corresponding to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index, its benchmark index, with a high degree of positive correlation. VFINX was issued by Vanguard on Aug. 31, 1976, and has generated an average annual return of 11.01% since its inception, as of October 24, 2017. VFINX is managed by the Vanguard Equity Investment Group and charges an annual expense ratio of 0.14%, which is significantly lower than the average expense ratio of mutual funds with similar holdings.

To achieve its investment objective, VFINX implements an indexing strategy and invests nearly all of its total assets in stocks included in the S&P 500 Index, with approximately the same proportions as the weightings in the index.

As of October 24, 2017, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund has total net assets of $350.3 billion. End of September, VFINX had a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) of  22.3x; a price-to-book ratio (P/B ratio) of 3x.

The fund has a Sharpe ratio of 1.03; and standard deviation in line with that of the underlying benchmark at of 10.07%.

Like most S&P 500 Index funds, VFINX is best suited for long-term investors with a moderate to high degree of risk tolerance seeking exposure to the U.S. large-cap equities market. Since VFINX has a minuscule tracking error and a low expense ratio, it is an attractive core holding for an equity portfolio.
Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund

The Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund was issued on May 19, 1997, by The Charles Schwab Corporation. SWPPX is advised and managed by Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., and charges an expense ratio of 0.03%.

SWPPX is a mutual fund that seeks to provide investment results corresponding to the total return of the S&P 500 Index. To achieve its investment goal, SWPPX typically invests at least 80% of its total net assets in stocks comprising the S&P 500 Index. Additionally, SWPPX generally gives the same weights to these stocks as the index.

As of October 24, 2017, SWPPX has 508 holdings, which amount to $29.2 billion, and a portfolio turnover of 2%. As of September end, SWPPX had a beta of 1.0; an alpha of -0.07; a Sharpe ratio of 1.03; and standard deviation of 10.04.
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor Shares

Issued on Feb. 17, 1988, by Fidelity, the Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor Shares provides low-cost exposure to the U.S. large-cap equities market. FUSEX charges an annual net expense ratio of 0.09% and requires a minimum investment of $2,500.

Since its inception, the fund has generated, 10.2% in annual average returns and interestingly, before fees and expenses, FUSEX has a perfectly positive correlation to the S&P 500 Index. To track the underlying index, FUSEX invests at least 80%, under normal market conditions, of its total net assets in common stocks comprising the index. FUSEX has historically tracked the index with a small degree of tracking error.

FUSEX serves as an alternative to VFINX and SWPPX, and is one of the top funds that offers exposure to a basket of common stocks included in the S&P 500 Index. FUSEX may serve as a core holding in a portfolio of U.S. equities.
T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 Fund

The T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 Fund (PREIX) was launched on March 30, 1990, and has since delivered an average annual return of 9.5%. The PREIX charges a net expense ratio of 0.21%. Tracking the S&P 500, the fund aims to match the investment return of large-capitalization U.S. stocks by seeking to match the performance of its benchmark index

Based on trailing 15-year statistics, PREIX has a Sharpe ratio of 0.66 and a standard deviation, or volatility, of 13.56%.

As of October 24, 2017, the PREIX has total net assets of $29.2 billion. It may be best suited for investors seeking to gain exposure to U.S. large-cap equities market.
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The Guardian/Naaman Zhou: Qantas uses mustard seeds in first ever biofuel flight between Australia and US

The Guardian

Qantas uses mustard seeds in first ever biofuel flight between Australia and US

Blended fuel powers 15-hour Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 flight between LA and Melbourne, reducing carbon emissions by 7%

Naaman Zhou @naamanzhou

Tue 30 Jan 2018 05.34 GMT
Last modified on Tue 30 Jan 2018 05.46 GMT

Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner

A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The 15-hour flight used a blended fuel that was 10% derived from the brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop – meaning it can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles.

The world-first used a Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 on a scheduled passenger service, QF96, and reduced carbon emissions by 7% compared with the airline’s usual flight over the same LA to Melbourne route. Compared pound for pound with jet fuel, carinata biofuel reduces emissions by 80% over the fuel’s life cycle.
New airplane biofuels plan would 'destroy rainforests', warn campaigners
Read more

Daniel Tan, an agriculture expert from the University of Sydney, said mustard seed could double as a valuable crop and a source of sustainable fuel for farmers.

“Almost within a day after harvesting, they can press the oil out in their own shed and use it straight into their tractors,” he said.

“Basically it’s good for growing, and also farmers can also use it. If they grow wheat every year it’s not good for the soil. They can grow mustard seed in between the wheat crops, every second or third year, press the oil and use it locally or export it for use in aviation fuel.

“A lot of the biodiesel now being processed is actually from waste oil from places like fish and chip shops. A lot of these oils can be processed, but the problem is that they can’t get consistent supply. The big problem with the biodisel industry in Australia is mainly the continuity of supply.”

One hectare of the crop can be used to produce 400 litres of aviation fuel or 1,400 litres of renewable diesel.

In 2012, Qantas and Jetstar trialled Australia’s first domestic biofuel flights on a blend made of 50% used cooking oil, flying from Sydney to Adelaide and Melbourne to Hobart.

Other airlines around the world have also moved towards incorporating biofuels into their commercial flights. In 2011, Alaska Airlines operated 75 selected flights on a similar cooking oil blend, while Dutch airline KLM operated weekly biofuel flights between New York and Amsterdam for six months in 2013.
How airlines can fly around new carbon rules
Read more

Qantas aims to use a form of renewable fuel – not necessarily carinata-derived – for all Los Angeles-based flights by 2020, supplied by US company SG Preston.

The airline is aiming to set up an Australian biorefinery in the near future in partnership with Canadian company Agrisoma Biosciences, which extracted the carinata-derived fuel for Tuesday’s flight, a spokeswoman said.

Under current fuel specifications, biofuel blends are capped at 50%, but a Qantas spokeswoman said new specifications could permit 100% biofuel flights in the future.

A 2017 estimate said air travel accounted for 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions, with the total emissions expected to quadruple by 2050.


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Carbon Brief/Jocelyn Timperley: Q&A: How will China’s new carbon trading scheme work?

A new coal fired power plant in northern China. Credit: Global Warming Images / Alamy Stock Photo BA5894
A new coal fired power plant in northern China. Credit: Global Warming Images / Alamy Stock Photo

EMISSIONS 29 January 2018 15:46
Q&A: How will China’s new carbon trading scheme work?

Jocelyn Timperley
Jocelyn Timperley
29.01.2018 | 3:46pm
Q&A: How will China’s new carbon trading scheme work?

Last month, China announced the initial details of its much-anticipated emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The launch confirmed China’s plans to move to a national carbon market, following several years of regional pilots projects.

The new scheme will have a more cautious rollout than set out in initial draft plans, starting with the power sector alone in a national pilot phase.

However, it will still be by far the world’s largest carbon market.

Carbon Brief takes an in-depth look at what is known about China’s ETS, the remaining gaps and how it will fit in with China’s wider climate policy landscape.

    How did China’s ETS come about?
    Will the ETS help China hit its climate targets?
    What will be covered by the trading scheme?
    How will China’s carbon market work?
    Who will pay for emissions?

    How will the ETS affect the power sector?
    What will happen to China’s pilot ETS projects?
    When will the ETS start?
    How will trading work under China’s ETS?
    What don’t we know about China’s ETS?

How did China’s ETS come about?

China’s greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world and are estimated to have risen by around 4% last year, halting several years where they flatlined. It burns more coal than the rest of the globe put together.

Alongside other policies to cut emissions, China has long had plans to create a national carbon market. First floated in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan in 2011, plans to roll out a nationwide scheme in 2017 were confirmed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in a US-China joint climate statement in the run-up to the Paris climate summit in 2015.

In January 2016, a notice to industries set out the steps they should take to prepare for the national scheme. This notice was circulated by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the state agency tasked with developing the ETS. Draft plans covering three sectors were then set out for consultation with industry and other government departments in May 2017.

On 19 December 2017, China released an initial framework for the first nationwide phase of the ETS, just inside the deadline set by the president’s 2015 pledge. This was the first document with final approval by the state council, the country’s chief administrative authority. (Note that Carbon Brief is relying on an unofficial translation of this framework plan, published by crowdsourced translating website China Energy Portal).

Initially set to cover more than 3bn tonnes of CO2 from the power sector, the carbon market will be the largest in the world and close to double the size of the next largest, the EU ETS. Once operational, it will mean around a quarter of global CO2 emissions are covered by carbon-pricing systems.
Map of explicit carbon prices around the world in 2017

Map of explicit carbon prices around the world in 2017. Source: I4CE Global panorama of carbon prices in 2017.

In developing its plans, China has reportedly been very conscious of the issues affecting other emissions trading schemes. It has conducted extensive discussions with representatives from schemes in California and the EU, in an effort to learn from their mistakes.

According to Jeff Swartz, director of climate policy and carbon markets at the South Pole Group and previously director of international policy at the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), these include the need to have good emissions data and to set a conservative emissions benchmark from historical data. He tells Carbon Brief:

“The government in China has studied this clearly: there are traces in the plan to make sure the cap is set appropriately. They have understood the mistakes in Europe.”

Carbon leakage: Carbon leakage is the idea that emissions-intensive industry could relocate production to another jurisdiction, to avoid paying (the same level of) carbon prices. Emissions would fall in the country where CO2 is… Read More

Li Gao, the NDRC’s director, has explicitly said China is not considering linking its ETS with other countries at this stage, adding that it will also take time to have a national carbon price.

According to the New York Times, China’s ETS could serve as a laboratory for other carbon markets developed in the future. If it manages to implement an effective carbon price, it could also reduce fears in the EU of carbon leakage to China.

Will the ETS help China hit its climate targets?

Environmental policy has become a priority in China, in part due to widespread concerns over air pollution and climate change caused by cars and coal-fired power plants.

China’s government has begun to put a strong emphasis on curbing CO2 emissions. The country plans to spend $363bn on renewable power capacity by 2020 and has a leading presence in renewables investment abroad. It has also moved to cap its coal capacity, ban petrol and diesel cars (albeit without a firm date), increase industrial energy efficiency and improve air quality.

Its climate pledge ahead of the Paris Agreement included a goal to peak CO2 emissions by “around 2030”, and make “best efforts” to peak earlier.  It also plans to source 20% of its energy by 2030 from non-fossil sources (this stood at 13% in 2016). Other goals include a decrease in the carbon intensity of its economy and an increase in forest stock volume.

China is already set to overachieve on its aim to peak emissions by 2030, according to Climate Action Tracker (CAT). However, CAT also notes that these targets are far from being in line with the Paris Agreement, which commits countries to limit global warming to well below 2C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C.

China’s trading scheme, therefore, comes in the context of a wide range of climate policies. One 2016 comparison of the potential for 35 environmental policies in China to drive down emissions found carbon pricing would be the most effective.

However, with little confirmed about how it will work (see below), it is hard to judge its possible impact.

Li Shuo, an energy and climate policy analyst for Greenpeace East Asia, tells Carbon Brief the real question is how much the country will overachieve its goals and if the ETS plays any role. As is the case for the EU ETS, there will be debate over whether the China ETS itself drives emissions reductions, or merely mops up after all the other related policies.

For example, Swartz says coal plant closures will result from other regulations. He says:

“The ETS is a transitory policy tool that sends a market signal for companies and investors to shift away from heavily polluting sources.”

Max Dupuy, senior associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project, says other policies may have more of an influence on carbon emissions in the near term, as the ETS develops over time. He tells Carbon Brief:

“There are a lot of things that are going on and they all have interlocking effects and they will, in turn, interact with the emissions trading scheme.”

What will be covered by the trading scheme?

Perhaps the most significant part of the announcement in December was that it scaled back the sectors the ETS would cover.

Early plans for the scheme, circulated in January 2016, had included firms consuming more than 10,000 tonnes of “coal equivalent” in eight sectors: petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials (including cement), iron and steel, non-ferrous metals (such as aluminium and copper), paper and civil aviation. This would have covered around 6,000 companies.

However, the December launch confirmed that only the power sector will be included at first. Plants emitting more than 26,000 tonnes of CO2 per year or more – covering almost all coal and gas-fired plants – will be included, the government plan says. This will still almost double the amount of emissions worldwide covered by emissions trading schemes.

The scheme will, therefore, only involve around 1,700 power companies at first. This will be gradually expanded “when conditions allow…to other industries with high energy consumption, high pollution and high resource intensity”, the plan says. It is expected to eventually include the other seven sectors previously proposed.

Swartz argues this vastly diminished ETS, compared to the original plan, is the big story of the release in December, arguing it “won’t have any bite in it” with the power sector alone. He tells Carbon Brief:

“After studying the market for years and conducting pilots, how much delay do you need when you know what needs to be done?”

Emissions have already levelled off in China’s power sector, while even with the other seven sectors included the ETS would by no means cover all of China’s emissions. Swartz estimates it would reach perhaps half of China’s CO2 emissions because key emitting sectors are excluded, including land transport and agriculture.

Others have argued it is important for China to move cautiously and take the time to get the emissions trading scheme right, with the power sector a reasonable place to start.

For example, policymakers need reliable data on historic baseline emissions from different plants, to set the right target levels and allocate allowances. Some observers have noted that the large state-owned enterprises that dominate electricity generation in the country have relatively complete emissions data, at least compared to other parts of the economy.

Chinese officials have similarly expressed concern that including other sectors at the outset would require constant testing and adjustments, given they are still in the process of establishing their emissions datasets.

The typically large size of power plants, which might emit tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 each year, also means relatively few points of emissions compared with other industries.

In an article for Vox, David Roberts argues the key thing to remember is that China’s government thinks long term. He writes:

“The most important thing is getting the baselines, rules and procedures right, creating a functioning system that can be used as a ratchet for decades to come.”

The plan itself says China wants to avoid “affecting…stable and healthy economic development” by including too many industries at the outset.

How will China’s carbon market work?

Carbon markets aim to provide incentives for polluters to reduce emissions by allowing firms to trade the right to emit. In the EU and California, this has involved putting an absolute cap on emissions, which is reduced over time.

However, China has generally resisted setting absolute emission caps in its climate pledges, instead opting for intensity-based targets to cut emissions per unit of GDP. While the precise methodology for the cap-setting in China’s national carbon market has not yet been released, government sources have indicated it will take a similar approach.

Therefore, it appears China will use a rate-based limit for its ETS. This would see a limit put on the amount of CO2 allowed per unit of output. Each power company would be allocated a certain number of credits, depending on how much electricity it produces. If it emitted less than this set quota, it could then sell that surplus to another firm.

This would reward firms for producing less emissions per unit of output, rather than less emissions overall, which could help alleviate political worry about constraining economic growth. But it would mean that even if power producers become more efficient, emissions could in theory still rise, if power production increases overall.

Who will pay for emissions?

In an initial “simulated” trading period of the ETS, companies will be issued free emissions permits. Under the plan’s loose timeline, auctions for permits would begin around 2020.

Once payments begin in the power sector, it is companies that would foot the bill, not consumers. This is because power prices are set by government regulators in China.

However, a process to reform electricity pricing in China (see next section), already underway for several years, could allow the carbon price to be passed on to consumers in future. Dupuy tells Carbon Brief:

“There’s still quite a way to go before we can say that the power sector’s been reformed and transformed to a model where the true costs, including emissions costs, are really flowing through to end users.”

Prices for other industries are set by the market rather than government regulation, so once the ETS expands outside the power sector, it could have an impact on consumers.

How will the ETS affect the power sector?

In theory, carbon pricing should encourage a switch from higher emitting power sources, such as coal. While prices in the EU have generally been too low to achieve this, the contribution of a carbon price to the rapid fall in coal-fired power in the UK shows it is possible.

If China does set a rate-based limit of allocating permits rather than an absolute cap, this would mean the setting of benchmark emissions rate per unit of output from each fuel.

It also appears the scheme may set different benchmarks for different parts of the power industry, depending on the size of the producer and type of fuel used. This would mean coal-burning plants would only compete against each other, rather than against cleaner gas plants.

Some experts have warned this means the ETS would struggle to move electricity consumption towards cleaner sources.  Zhang Junjie, director of the Environmental Research Center at Duke Kunshan University, told the South China Morning Post:

“The focus will be on improving efficiency of existing plants, rather than improving the energy structure by replacing coal with gas or other cleaner energy sources.”

Lauri Myllyvirta, a clean air and clean energy expert working with Greenpeace in Beijing, similarly says an intensity-based allocation would not encourage a cleaner fuel mix, but could help to push power plants to increase their efficiency. Myllyvirta tells Carbon Brief:

“Improvements in thermal efficiency are much easier to predict than the combination of electricity demand, mix of energy sources and thermal efficiency. Of course, this would at the same time mean that the role of emissions trading in China’s overall climate efforts is more limited than if an overall [emissions] cap was set.”

Myllyvirta points out, however, that even if such an intensity-based method is used, it is not known whether this would just be the approach for an initial period, or more permanently.
A man works at the control room of No.2 power generation unit of the Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Station in Wafangdian of Dalian City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 22, 2016. Credit: Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo H1ACAN

A man works at the control room of No.2 power generation unit of the Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Station in Wafangdian of Dalian City, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, Sept. 22, 2016. Credit: Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo

In addition, even if the ETS makes polluting plants more expensive, it may not affect their  “dispatch order”. Unlike most other jurisdictions, China does not traditionally change the order in which its power plants are turned on based on their operating costs. Dupuy tells Carbon Brief:

“That means, effectively, that one of the normal channels through which we’d expect to see emissions trading work is not functioning well in the current power system in China.”

The power sector reform effort currently underway in China could address this, says Dupuy. First launched in 2015, this is perhaps the most overlooked of the country’s other climate policies. It promises to address each of the major “pain points” for clean energy and could have far bigger implications for China’s emissions than the ETS. Dupuy tells Carbon Brief:

“One of the major thrusts of the power sector reform is for each of the generators to compete, based on its relative operating costs and relative efficiency, for the number of hours that they’re going to operate on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis.

“These new markets should allow the power sector to be more flexible, to be more efficient, and to transmit the cost associated with carbon in a more fluid way to users throughout the system.”

The process of developing this reform is long. While China has a commitment to get to national competitive electricity markets by 2020, Dupuy says he is not sure if this timetable will be met. However, some progress has already been seen.

In the meantime, a shift to cleaner energy may also be driven by China’s other power sector targets, such as goals for the increasing the share of low-carbon sources in the energy mix, and coal plant closures driven by other regulations.

What will happen to China’s pilot ETS projects?

China launched regional pilot carbon trading projects in four cities, two provinces and the special economic zone of Shenzhen during 2013 and 2014. Two more local schemes were launched in 2016 and 2017 in Fujian, a southeastern Chinese province near Taiwan, and Sichuan in southwest China, although these are not usually counted as pilot schemes.

The locations of these nine local schemes are shown in the map below.

Location of China’s seven pilot local emissions trading projects, set up in 2013 and 2014, and two more recent local schemes, set up in 2016 and 2017. ETS prices are mean values observed between March 2016 and March 2017. Percentages are of total greenhouse gas emissions for the region. Source: I4CE Global panorama of carbon prices in 2017

The initial seven pilots were developed by local governments with intentionally different designs, to help inform the development of the national scheme. They cover more than 3,000 firms in a variety of sectors depending on the scheme, including power, steel, cement and aviation.

As shown in the map above, the pilots cover 35%-60% of greenhouse gas emissions in each region. Compliance with the various rules of the pilots is reportedly high.

The schemes have run into some issues, however, including a lack of transparency and a low trading volume. One criticism has been that they have mainly avoided using financial derivatives, such as futures trading. Some argue this has made the markets ineffective in providing a clear price signal for big emitters. However, some of the pilot regions are now experimenting with such mechanisms.

According to Paula DiPerna, special adviser with CDP North America, the seven pilot programmes have allowed China to “legitimise” the concept of cap-and-trade. She told Bloomberg:

“China had 10 years to train people and let them learn the ropes of carbon trading. They were a de facto university for a generation of emissions-market traders. The rest of the world has pretty much lost a decade.”

The pilots have also allowed the government to test how trading systems could work with very different profiles. For example, says Swartz, the cities generally have high emissions in the buildings and transport sectors, while in Hubei province, the largest emissions source is iron and steel.

Leaders have emerged among the pilots, helping to establish best practices for the national market, according to ChinaDialogue. Guangdong province and Hubei have experimented with auctioning allowances, for instance, Swartz tells Carbon Brief, while the Beijing market has maintained the highest and most stable carbon price.

As of the beginning of 2017, these covered around 3,000 sources, with total annual CO2 emissions of 1.4bn tonnes.

Prices averaged $2.27/tonne, according to the Partnership for Market Readiness, an international platform backed by the World Bank to foster carbon markets instruments. For comparison, over the past five years EU ETS emissions allowances have hovered between €4 and €9 ($5-11) per tonne, itself well short of most estimates for the social cost of carbon.

Jiang Zhaoli, deputy head of NDRC’s climate change department, has said companies will not feel real pressure to cut emissions until the carbon price hits 200-300 yuan/tonne ($31-47/tonne). He added that he does not expect this to happen until after 2020.

Transaction values since the pilot schemes began reportedly reached around 4.5 billion yuan ($706m) in September last year and the value of trades in the pilots has been rising over time. However, this is far below the €49bn ($61bn) of allowances or their derivatives that were traded in the EU ETS in 2015 alone.

Power-sector emissions now under pilot schemes will shift into the national ETS, once it is launched. The pilot projects will continue for sectors not yet included in the national carbon market, such as chemicals, oil and gas. China’s plan says these will gradually be moved into the national scheme “when conditions allow”.

When will the ETS start?

The government plan released in December is hazy about the exact timeline for the rollout of the ETS. Instead, it sets out the next few stages of implementation and makes clear that any and all parts of this plan could be adjusted.

In the first stage, over the next year or so, China will focus on the basic infrastructure of the scheme: setting up emissions monitoring, reporting and verification systems, alongside the administrative aspects of the trading system. Companies will be required to monitor and report their emissions to the NDRC and other relevant local regulators.

Power companies will start to receive ETS allowances in this time and the legal basis for the ETS is also likely to be strengthened, according to Energy Foundation China.

The second step will be a year-long “simulated” trial of the market, the plan says, expected to start in 2019. This will see free credits allocated to companies with mock trading, but with no money changing hands. It aims to test and develop the reliability, market risks and management of the trading platform, the plan says.

Extract from the NDRC’s, “Program for the establishment of a national carbon emissions trading market (power generation industry)”. Note that this is from the unofficial translation published by crowdsourced translation website China Energy Portal.

Only after these two year-long steps will trading for money begin in the power sector. Since the plan says the two earlier stages will take around a year each, this is unlikely to happen until at least 2020, although China has set no concrete date.

It is worth noting that 2020 will be a key year for China, when it is set to release both its next Five-Year Plan and its updated Paris pledge.

If the power-only carbon market reaches “stable operation”, the plan says this is to be followed by a gradual expansion of the market to include other sectors, as well as other tradeable products, such as emissions offsets. However, there is no timeline for either of these.

How will trading work under China’s ETS?

Once trading begins on the national market in 2020 or so, it appears China plans to conduct it using spot trading: regular trading between firms on a carbon trading exchange. This excludes the use of financial derivatives such as carbon futures trading, the mechanism by which companies can speculate on the market by buying and selling the right to future permits at guaranteed prices.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, ruled out carbon futures trading in November, saying China’s scheme is intended to create a cost for emitting carbon rather than a platform for market speculation.

Sophie Lu, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Beijing, told Bloomberg in December:

“After several false starts and shifting priorities and nervousness around whether or not carbon speculation will make policy enforcement difficult, the regulators have decided to be even more cautious about the market deployment.”

Swartz is among those who say carbon futures trading should be included in the scheme. He tells Carbon Brief it would create additional liquidity in the market and allow a real carbon price to emerge. He notes that China is exploring the use of futures trading and will likely first start with a pilot carbon futures trading system in one region before allowing it across the entire ETS.

What don’t we know about China’s ETS?

Many more of the details and outcomes of China’s national carbon market remain uncertain. As well as the lack of firm dates for rollout and expansion to other sectors, other key details about the scheme have also yet to be clarified.

Carbon price

Perhaps foremost among these is the question of the price companies will have to pay for emissions, once the market is established in 2020 or so. Prices have been low in the pilots, and with the mechanisms and processes for allocating or auctioning credits still unclear, it is hard to say if and when a price large enough to put pressure on emissions will emerge.

The issuing of too many permits due to regulators anticipating higher emissions than actually occur could lead to low prices and a loss of confidence in the market. This has been a significant problem in the EU’s carbon market, which is still struggling to correct low prices caused by a massive surplus of allowances.

However, handing out permits on an intensity basis could make it easier to avoid over-allocation if coal power output is much lower than expected, Myllyvirta from Greenpeace tells Carbon Brief.
A power plant in Heihe in Northern China on the Russian Border. Credit: Global Warming Images / Alamy Stock Photo BA7C4K

A power plant in Heihe in Northern China on the Russian Border. Credit: Global Warming Images / Alamy Stock Photo

It is also worth noting that the scheme will be implemented relatively fast, compared to the others schemes, such as in the EU where companies had more notice. Zou Ji, the president of Energy Foundation China, an NGO, told the New York Times that China is likely to issue many credits at first and then gradually tighten annual allocations to force up the market price. However, China has not yet set this out.

Free vs paid allowances

There has been no word on what proportion of allowances will be distributed for free and how many will be sold at auction. Details on how permit auctions might work are also scarce.

Among other things, this will determine the extent to which the China ETS will generate any revenue, which could go to funding additional climate change programmes.


In its 13th Five-Year Plan, covering 2016 to 2020, China said it will develop a greenhouse gas emissions information disclosure system. However, this has not yet been implemented.

The success of the ETS will depend on such disclosure of corporate information, write Kate Logan and Ma Yingying from the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a Chinese thinktank, in an article for ChinaDialogue.

According to IPE analysis, none of China’s seven official ETS pilots have yet disclosed carbon emissions data for key polluting firms, which contributes to major price volatility by limiting the ability of markets to predict carbon prices. Logan and Yingying write:

“In fact, there is no publicly available information on how much CO2 an emissions trader has emitted, or whether or how their emissions data are verified.”

Swartz also argues that disclosure will be important to the nationwide scheme, for example, by revealing the business case for the use of low-carbon technologies in a sector low on credits.

Verification of data will also be important. Myllyvirta and Shuo warn that the initial allocation of free permits could create incentives for companies and provincial governments to inflate their output or emissions projections, for example.

Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this month, Paula DiPerna from CDP said the market has to be as credible to traders as any other commodity market, in order to create a carbon price that “remotely corresponds to the cost of mitigation”.


It is also unclear whether there will be any fines or penalties for non-compliance with the scheme in its various stages.

Dimitri de Boer, vice chairman of the China Carbon Forum, a non-profit working on climate change, says the central government is likely to learn from experiences of enforcement under the pilot schemes, where compliance has been high, as it rolls out the national ETS. He tells Carbon Brief:

“The pilot systems have had various types of enforcement measures, including fines, penalties in the form of additional compliance obligation for the following year and public announcement of non-compliance…We hope that there will be adequate transparency regarding the compliance of companies.”


While China has created an offset standard, the rules and future of this in the new ETS are not yet clear.

The May 2017 draft plan discussed offsets as a flexibility provision. The new national ETS plan says trading will be expanded to other tradable products, such as voluntary emissions reductions “when conditions allow”.

These so-called “voluntary emission reductions” would allow non-industrial carbon reduction projects, not covered by the ETS, to sell credits to companies obliged to take part, Huw Slater, a researcher at China Carbon Forum, tells Carbon Brief.

According to Swartz, many companies that develop offset projects are not investing until this is clarified. This is important, he argues, as the absence of offsets means additional incentives will be needed for areas such as reforestation and tackling refrigerant gases that also warm the climate.
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    Q&A: How will China’s new carbon trading scheme work?

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