In light of the recent violence and turmoil in Ukraine, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies hosted a discussion Monday evening in the LaFortune Student Center.The panel, titled “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine?,” was led by Yury Avvakumov, Nanovic faculty fellow and assistant professor of theology.The slideshow prepared by Avvakumov began with a slide that changed the title of the discussion to say “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine!,” which he said reflected the emerging conviction that the situation in Ukraine is indeed one of revolution.“I thought that I would start with this title because when we discussed this event and its title, three days ago, a question mark after the title was still appropriate. Now you have to replace the questions mark with an exclamation mark,” Avvakumov said. “The revolution in Ukraine has happened. This is absolutely clear.”Avvakumov said the term “Euromaidan” originated from a hash tag used on Twitter in reference to the protests. The “Euro” refers to the Ukrainian people’s demands for an alliance with the European Union and “maidan” refers to the name of the Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, where the protests have taken place.Since November of last year, Ukrainians have been protesting the corruption of their government, Avvakumov said. Mass protests began after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who recently fled Ukraine, abruptly rejected a landmark association agreement with the European Union in November 2013, just one week before the anticipated signing of the agreement.GRANT TOBIN | The Observer Avvakumov said the rejection came as a direct result of Russian pressure exerted on Ukraine in order to prevent the nation from starting the process of integration into the European Union.Although this issue has greatly angered the Ukrainian people, Avvakumov said, they are demonstrating against the corruption of their current government as much as they are protesting their former president’s reluctance to sign an agreement with the European Union.Avvakumov said such corruption includes everything from nepotism and bribery to disrespect of human dignity and the authoritarian style of the former president and the ruling party.“In the eyes of millions of Ukrainians, Russia, in its present condition, embodies these vices of the political system. By contrast, potential membership in the European Union can help fight the new authoritarianism and promote transparency, the rule of law, independent media and respect of human dignity,” he said.Avvakumov said the protest began with young Ukrainians, though it includes a broad spectrum of middle-class citizens who are students, intellectuals, artists and representatives of small and mid-sized businesses.“These are people who perceive that the political system forcibly takes away their freedom and their professional and personal future. These are people for whom Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are indispensible everyday tools,” he said. “These are intelligent people with a clear sense of human dignity and civil courage. They call the revolution ‘The Revolution of Human Dignity.’”The Euromaidan protest has swelled in number from 700,000 people in November to one million people more recently, Avvakumov said. The demonstrations began peacefully, but have since turned violent.On Feb. 17 the Ukrainian government called for the use of military weapons, in an attempt to put an end to the rioting. Avvakumov said over 70 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured, but the protests have nevertheless continued.“Euromaidan will not go away until they are convinced that the whole thing really functions and really works, and they get real transparency with their government,” Avvakumov said.Michael Gekhtman, chair of the mathematics department and a Ukrainian citizen, also spoke briefly about the crisis in Kiev. Gekhtman said he is worried the protests will have the same result as similar protests in 2004, which occurred in response to perceived corruption in a presidential election, and is concerned for the safety of his parents.“What I am worried about is that it’s going to revert to what happened shortly after the Orange Revolution because the main players are the same — same politicians,” he said. “These are very dangerous times. My parents still live in Kiev. I was there in October — no one expected this to turn out this violent this fast.”Tags: Euromaidan, Nanovic Institute, Ukraine
By David Emory StooksburyUniversity of GeorgiaScattered showers and thunderstorms slowed Georgia’s slide intodeeper drought during June and July. While conditionsdeteriorated more slowly, northwest and southwest Georgia stillslid into exceptional drought.Bountiful rains have greatly improved conditions in southeast andcoastal Georgia. Parts of inland southeast Georgia, 12 countiesin all, are no longer classified as being in drought.Of Georgia’s remaining 147 counties, drought conditions areexceptional in 37, extreme in 55, severe in 16, moderate in 21and mild in 10, with eight abnormally dry.In late June, no counties were in exceptional drought, butconditions were extreme in 104 and severe in 38. Then, conditionswere moderate in just 15 and mild in only two, and no county wasjust abnormally dry or not in drought.Exceptional drought conditions are expected about once in 100years. This is based on many indicators, including rainfall sinceOct. 1 and over the past 180, 90, 30 and 14 days, soil moisture,stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels.Northwest, southwest counties scorchedThese exceptional conditions have developed in 23 northwestGeorgia counties: Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee,Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Douglas, Floyd, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon,Haralson, Harris, Heard, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Troup,Walker and Whitfield.In southwest Georgia, 14 counties now have exceptional droughtconditions: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Dougherty, Early,Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell andThomas.Soil moisture is near the first percentile in northwest andsouthwest Georgia. At this level, we would expect the soil to bemoister in 99 of 100 years.Several streams in southwest and northwest Georgia are at recordlow flows for early August. These include Ichawaynochaway Creeknear Milford, Spring Creek near Iron City, the Flint River atBainbridge, Cedar Creek near Cedartown and the Oostanaula Rivernear Rome.Other rivers setting record low flows for the date are the Flintnear Griffin and the Chattooga near Clayton.Soil moisture droppingWith temperatures hovering around 100 and many regions gettinglittle to no rain over the past seven to 10 days, soil moisturelevels are dropping quickly statewide.Soil moisture loss to evaporation and plant use is now runningbetween one-quarter and one-third of an inch per day. If theAugust trend of hot days with little to no rain continues, theregions in relatively good shape could find conditionsdeteriorating quickly.Severe drought conditions are in Atkinson, Clinch, Crawford,Crisp, Dooly, Greene, Irwin, Jasper, Lincoln, Macon, Monroe,Peach, Putnam, Taliaferro, Turner and Wilkes counties.Short-term moisture deficits have caused drought conditions todeteriorate especially in the central and southern Savannah RiverValley. Rainfall over the past month has been between 50 percentand 70 percent of normal.Deteriorating conditions have resulted in moderate drought inBulloch, Burke, Columbia, Effingham, Evans, Glascock, Jenkins,McDuffie, Screven, Richmond and Warren counties.Moderate conditions are also in Baldwin, Bibb, Ben Hill, Coffee,Hancock, Houston, Jones, Pulaski, Ware and Wilcox counties.Drought conditions are mild in Bacon, Bleckley, Dodge, JeffDavis, Jefferson, Pierce, Telfair, Twiggs, Washington andWilkinson counties.Helpful rainsMuch of coastal and southeast Georgia had bountiful rains in Juneand July. However, rainfall deficits for the water year (sinceOct. 1) leave eight of these counties classified as abnormallydry: Brantley, Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Glynn, Libertyand McIntosh.The summer rains have brought Appling, Candler, Emanuel, Johnson,Laurens, Long, Montgomery, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne andWheeler counties back to normal conditions.In these counties rainfall for the water year and the past 180,90, 30 and 14 days has been near or above normal. Soil moisturelevels are near normal for early August.Because of the sandy nature of these counties’ soils, however,agricultural drought can develop quickly if temperatures remainin the middle to upper 90s with little to no rain.Extreme droughtThe remaining 55 Georgia counties are in extreme drought,including most of south-central, west-central, north-central andnortheast Georgia.Across the extreme drought region, soil moisture levels arebetween the 2nd and 5th percentiles. At these levels, we wouldexpect soils to be moister in 95 to 98 of 100 years.Stream flows in this region are generally between the 2nd and 5thpercentiles. With little rain and 100-degree temperatures overthe past week, many of these streams are nearing record lowlevels.Groundwater levels remain low statewide for this time of the year.Relief?No widespread relief is foreseeable. In August and September, thebest hope for widespread drought relief is from tropical weathersystems. Without these, we can expect the drought to worsen overthe next two months.If dry conditions continue, high temperatures during August canbe expected to remain in the middle 90s to low 100s across thepiedmont and coastal plain. The Georgia mountains can expecttemperatures in the upper 80s to middle 90s.Get updated drought information at www.georgiadrought.org.The state drought Web site includes information on how to dealwith the drought.Updated weather information is at www.georgiaweather.net.This University of Georgia network has 71 automated weatherstations statewide.(David Emory Stooksbury is the state climatologist and aprofessor of engineering and atmospheric sciences in theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power:U.S. coal-fired power generation last year was at its lowest level since 1976, according to data released May 11 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).The agency said output from U.S. coal-fired units fell to 966,000 GWh in 2019, the lowest level in more than 40 years. The EIA said the 16%, year-over-year drop from 2018 levels was the largest percentage decline ever, “and the second-largest in absolute terms (240,000 GWh).” That decline is expected to continue this year; IHS Markit recently projected that utilities will burn nearly 130 million fewer tons of coal this year than in 2019.The EIA said increased power generation from natural gas-fired plants, along with wind power and overall lower demand for electricity, has driven the decline in coal-fired generation. The agency said natural gas-fired generation reached an all-time record of almost 1.6 million GWh in 2019, a year-over-year increase of 8%. Wind power generation topped 300,000 GWh, up 10% from 2018.EIA has forecast generation from renewable resources will increase 11% this year from 2019 levels. The agency said renewable energy is more likely to be dispatched by grid operators when it’s available because of its lower operating cost.U.S. coal-fired generation capacity hit a high of 318 GW in 2011 and has fallen ever since as coal units have retired or switched to natural gas and other fuels. The EIA said U.S. coal-fired generation capacity was at 229 GW in 2019, a 28% drop during the decade. Utilization rates for coal plants also have fallen, to 48% in 2019, down from 67% in 2010, based on the operating capacity at those times. Meanwhile, combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants ran at an average capacity factor of 57% last year, nine percentage points higher than coal-fired plants.EIA’s report released Monday showed coal-fired generation dropped in every U.S. region, by more than 18% in some areas, including the U.S. Southeast. The agency also noted that “Average delivered prices for coal at power plants have been declining. Through 2015, the cost of coal averaged $2.25 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) before falling to less than $2.00/MMBtu in late 2019.”[Darrell Proctor]More: U.S. coal-fired generation at lowest level since 1976 EIA: U.S. coal-fired electricity generation fell to 43-year low in 2019
By Dialogo February 18, 2013 Long wracked by brutal drug violence, Colombia is finally enjoying a dramatic resurgence. The economy is on the upswing, poverty is diminishing and the middle class is expanding. Meanwhile, tourists are rediscovering Colombia’s lush rural beauty and sophisticated cities. But a persistent problem remains: the government’s longstanding battle against the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). On Feb. 6, the National Defense University’s Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies explored the factors that recently led both sides to the negotiating table, as well as the chances for success of peace talks now underway in Havana, Cuba. The CHDS symposium, entitled “Hemispheric Forum on the Colombia Peace Negotiations,” featured Colombian Army Gen. Carlos Alberto Ospina Ovalle — now a professor at the center — as well as Carlos Urrutia, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, and several Washington-based specialists on Latin America. “As we’ve seen from peace processes across the Americas, without effective implementation, even the most ironclad agreement negotiated completely in good faith runs the risk of breakdown and failure,” said the event’s moderator, Eric Farnsworth, vice-president of the Council of the Americas. “It is here that the international community can and should be expected to play a meaningful role. Farnsworth also said prospects for a binding peace agreement may be as good as they’ve ever been. “This is the best moment in a generation — and some would say ever — to think about a final resolution of the conflict,” he said. “But we won’t even get to the implementation phase if the parties cannot conclude a peace agreement themselves.” Urrutia: FARC’s prospects are ‘grim’ The FARC, which both Washington and Bogotá classify as a terrorist organization, claims to represent the rural poor against the economic depredation of Colombia’s elite. But Colombian government officials have long denounced FARC’s tactics, which include kidnapping, ransom demands, drug-running and violence. The conflict has been ongoing since the 1950s, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions of people. This past August, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that his government was engaging in exploratory talks with FARC officials in hopes of ending the conflict. The Havana talks are tentative but ongoing — and no one knows where they will lead. Urrutia told the standing-room only audience that Colombia’s military, enhanced by modern technology and intelligence capabilities, has FARC on the ropes and that it’s only a matter of time before the terrorists lay down their arms and agree to deep concessions. “FARC’s prospects going forward are certainly grim,” Urrutia said. “Society no longer tolerates its vicious actions, and [Colombian government] concessions that would have been on the table 12 years ago are now unthinkable. FARC’s involvement in the international drug trade and the international labeling of FARC as a terrorist organization has greatly diminished its standing and it has no room for improvement.” Different ideas on what peace looks like But David Spencer, assistant professor of national security affairs at CHDS, had a less optimistic view of the talks currently underway. “FARC does not think like western governments do,” Spencer said. “They have a very different approach …and the organization has a number of characteristics that make them an extremely frustrating opponent to deal with.” Spencer also said the Colombian state and FARC also have very different ideas of what a successfully negotiated peace settlement would look like. “The state defines end of conflict as demobilization, disarmament and reintegration,” Spencer explained. “FARC claims the guns will stop firing when society is transformed into a socialist state.” A general’s perspective Ray Walser, senior Latin America policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said public opinion in Colombia clearly supports the concept of a negotiated peace. “The current insurgency is a narcoterrorist organization that lacks political legitimacy and is outside the orbit of a democratic conversation. The tactics they employ are evolving, but seizure of power is still the objective.” Indeed, Colombia’s Gen. Ospina, chief of the defense chair at CHDS, said it would be foolish to underestimate the FARC’s commitment to its goals. “The goal of the FARC will not change,” he said. “They will always try to seize power one way or another.” But he also said acquiescing to outrageous demands is not an option. “Negotiating with terrorists is not a healthy practice,” Ospina told his audience. “However, we have to admit that it has worked in other parts of the world, like Central America and Nepal. So maybe it’s not healthy, but it could be useful.” Even so, said the retired general, “if the peace process means impunity for the FARC leaders and allows them to participate in politics, I will have to strongly oppose the peace process. Justice has to be served, and guilty terrorists have to pay for their crimes. Peace cannot be obtained at all costs.” let’s hope the government can reach an agreement with the FARC Well, the comments of these men have absolutely no actual substance and are based on fallacies and lies, real life is different. The useless campaign against the FARCs and the entire Colombian Progressive Movement has been for nothing, of them being “terrorists”, “narc terrorists” all of that crap they know it isn’t true, and is only intended to disgrace the revolutionary, patriotic and anti-empire insurgency. This is a military-politic struggle that is opposed to the political model of the current and past Colombian administration, and will fight it, if not them, others will wield their arms to defend its rights and not be killed by said criminal oligarchy, and this campaign will not prosper with all the warmongers (free birds) and military chiefs. In regards to this page, actually is an eye-opening page for many people who don’t have any knowledge or idea of this situation in which we’re sinking due to the ambition of the great oligarchies of the country, who sell the wealth of the nation in exchange for very little which they keep for themselves, and the poor person becomes even poorer and they don’t seem to care about the suffering of anyone. In this country we definitely need a HUGO CHAVEZ, FRIAS was right to lend him his support, he actually deserved it, but the media belong to the oligarchy and through them they brainwash the ignorant and educated people of this country I offer to the PEACE dialogues all the inventory of 56% of the municipal area of Cali, usurped by the most distinguished original families of Cali, I am a rebel with a cause because I know the almond tree on the inside, the COMMON LANDS are public property intended by the Political Regime of the Municipal’s Code exclusively to develop and execute dwelling plans, to learn to share the urban background formula for the social coexistence, which is the road to peace. If you wish to publish the memoirs that I’ve prepared for thirty years and given the negligence of Cali’s City Hall and the submissive Councilmen of Cali, I will submit under my responsibility the social work of my doing in my capacity as a 72 year-old civil engineer. ALL THE DOCUMENTS ARE AUTHENTICATED FROM LONG TIME AGO AND RATIFIED BY NOTARIES OF THAT TIME, you may designate whom you consider appropriate to verify the documentation. Claudio Borrero Quijano – C.C. 17.044.580 Bogota – T.P. 7260 Civil Engineer of the Postal Code of Cundinamarca – Former Councilmen of Cali during four terms. I’m sending a BLOG of my writings in the weekly posting at Caliescribe.con CALEÃ‘A DIGITAL MAGAZINE
15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit card usage is fairly robust in the U.S., with 33% of U.S. adults owning at least one or two credit cards, and another 34% owning three or more cards as of 2014, according to CreditCards.com.But there’s one key demographic that’s engineering a slide in credit card use: Millennials. And this trend provides a cautionary tale about future credit card usage.According to MyBankTracker.com, 49.7% of young Americans between the ages of 18-and-34, the so-called millennial generation, don’t own a credit card. Worse for the card industry, 35% of Americans aged 25 to 34 (an age group that should start earning some decent money) “has never applied for a credit card,” according to MyBankTracker.One big factor is the front row seat younger consumers had for the Great Recession, watching their parents and grandparents struggle with debt. Another is their own wrestling match with enormous debts of their own making. continue reading »
The central bank pledged to work together with the government and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to develop further measures to stabilize the country’s financial market. Perry said the current situation was different compared to the 1998 and 2008 financial crises as the it was faced by financial markets and investors around the globe.Read also: Investors question government’s transparency in handling COVID-19 crisis“Investors and market players dumped all their assets in stocks, bonds and gold and cashed them into dollars. All countries experienced the same thing, including Indonesia,” he added.Indonesia has recorded 308 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths as of Thursday. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected more than 244,000 people and claimed at least 10,000 lives.The central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate, the BI seven-day reverse repo rate, by 25 basis points to 4.50 percent following another cut last month to help spur the weakening economy.BI revised down on Thursday Indonesia’s economic growth projection to between 4.2 percent and 4.6 percent this year, which would be the lowest levels since 2005. That compares with last month’s projection of between 5 and 5.4 percent.It also announced measures to calm the market rout and stabilize the rupiah, including by intensifying bond-buying in the secondary market and cutting banks’ reserve ratio. Topics : Read also: BI cuts rate, sees growth plunging to 15-year low as COVID-19 roils economyBI data recorded Rp 105.1 trillion in capital outflow as of Thursday, of which foreign investors dumped Rp 92.8 trillion worth of government bonds and Rp 8.3 trillion in stocks.The rupiah has weakened more than 15 percent against the this year to Rp 16,172 per dollar as of 3:14 p.m. in Jakarta, a level unseen since the 1998 crisis. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), meanwhile, recorded more than Rp 10 trillion in foreign net sell so far this year as it lost around 33 percent of its value.“The majority of capital flight occurred in March in line with escalating COVID-19 infections in developing countries. This has resulted in investors dumping their assets and converting them into dollars,” Perry went on to say. Bank Indonesia (BI) has bought about Rp 163 trillion (US$10.1 billion) worth of government bonds to stabilize the country’s financial market amid foreign investors’ selling spree over COVID-19 fears.In addition to the bonds purchase, the central bank also intervened in the foreign exchange spot market and domestic non-deliverables forward to ease pressures on the rupiah.“We are focused on maintaining confidence, ensuring the market mechanism to work properly and maintain liquidity in US dollars and the rupiah,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said after attending a limited Cabinet meeting on Friday.
A European official said consultations were underway ahead of a probable statement on the “very serious developments” in Belarus but warned it was “very difficult” to confirm reports from the country because of official restrictions and slow internet.Michel wrote on Twitter that “violence against protesters is not the answer”.”Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, basic human rights must be upheld,” he said.Belarus borders Russia to the east, Ukraine to the south and EU member states Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to the north and west. In a joint statement on Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda had urged Belarus “to fully recognise and uphold basic democratic standards” including freedom of speech.”We are convinced that closer cooperation with the European Union is in the interest of Belarus… and stand ready to continue to provide further support to Belarus in deepening its relations with the united European family,” they wrote. Topics : Poland on Monday called for an emergency European Union summit on the situation in Belarus after clashes in the night in Minsk over a disputed presidential election.”The authorities have used force against their citizens, who are demanding change in the country. We must support the Belarusian people in their quest for freedom,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a statement.Morawiecki said he had written to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel with the request for a summit.
Freddie Ljungberg quits role as part of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal coaching team Freddie Ljungberg managed just one win, against West Ham, from his six games at the Arsenal helm (Picture: Getty)‘I have decided to leave my first team assistant coaching role at Arsenal to progress my management experience,’ the club legend confirmed on Twitter.‘I have been involved with this club on and off since 1998 and am grateful for all the opportunities they have given me both as a player and as a coach.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘I wish Mikel and all the team every success for the season ahead. Thanks also to the fans for their constant support and for always being by my side. ‘I hope we will all meet again soon.’Reacting to the departure of one of his assistants, meanwhile, Arteta said: ‘Freddie has been a really important member of my team since my arrival. ‘He did a great job picking the team up when Unai left and we all have 100% respect for him as a man and a coach. I know I’ll be facing him on the touchline in the future.’MORE: Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar wants Juventus move over Arsenal and Manchester CityMORE: Jadon Sancho singles out Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood for ‘doing a madness’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 22 Aug 2020 3:37 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link806Shares Freddie Ljungberg has left his first team coaching role at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Freddie Ljungberg has left his first team coaching role at Arsenal in the hope of landing his first full-time managerial role.The club legend returned to the club at which he won two Premier League titles two years ago to coach the club’s Under-23 side. Ljungberg was credited with playing a major role in the development of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson and was promoted to the first team set-up upon the appointment of Unai Emery. The Spaniard was sacked last December providing Ljungberg with the opportunity to take interim charge of the first team alongside Per Mertesacker. AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTLjungberg was unable to spark an improvement in the team’s results, however, registering just one win from his six games at the helm in all competitions. Comment
He succeeds Ronald Wuijster, CEO, who was appointed to the executive board of APG Group as member responsible for asset management earlier this year. Branner (left), a Danish national, joins from the €100bn Swedish asset manager SEB Investment Management where he was chief executive officer, responsible for investment processes as well as overseeing its broad range of funds and institutional mandates covering all major asset classes. The €479bn Dutch asset manager APG has appointed Peter Branner as its chief investment officer. Bart Le Blanc, chairman of the supervisory board of APG Asset Management, described the new CIO as “a seasoned executive in our field” and highlighted his “broad international experience in long-term investing”.Branner is to start his new job on 1 September, when he will become responsible for APG’s overall investment operations and will be tasked with optimising sustainable and long-term returns.Prior to joining SEB’s Stockholm office in 2008, Branner was CIO at the London-based multi-manager arm of Fortis.He has also served as managing director at IKANO Fund Management in Luxembourg, as well as other investment postions within the IKANO Group.The new CIO will report to Ronald Wuijster, chief executive of APG Asset Management and member of the executive board of APG Group.APG is the asset manager and pensions provider of the €414bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP.
Eva Halvarsson, chief executive officer of AP2, said: “All asset classes had a positive return and in particular, the world’s equity markets developed positively.”The fund’s Swedish equity portfolio returned a total 30.2%, while the developed markets foreign equity portfolio generated 31.7%. Emerging markets equities produced 19.9%.“The return on Chinese A shares was the fund’s best asset class with an annual return of 52.6%,” Halvarsson said.Over the years, she noted, AP2 had developed “unique expertise” in analysing the pension system’s development and needs in the future, in order to be able to construct the portfolio that provided the most benefit for the pension system.“In 2019 we have further supplemented the analysis by including the risks that climate change poses to economic growth,” she said.In its sustainability report – published alongside the annual report – AP2 said that looking ahead, it would continue to develop the integration of climate risk into its overall asset-liability management analysis.It also said it aimed to identify the main climate risks and opportunities for more asset classes, sectors and geographies, as well as finding out what their time horizon was.Having invested in green bonds since 2008 and included the environmentally-linked debt as a separate asset class in its portfolio since 2015, AP2 said it had now decided to lift the strategic allocation to green bonds to 3%, or just over SEK11bn.“During the year, there was continued strong growth in the market, with more issues and more organisations and companies issuing green as well as social bonds,” the fund said in its sustainability report.At the end of December, AP2 said it had over SEK14bn invested in green and social bonds. The first of Sweden’s mighty pension buffer funds to unveil 2019 results has announced its highest-ever results, generating SEK53bn (€5bn) in a bumper equities year when its holding of Chinese A shares produced a 52.6% return.Gothenburg-based AP2 also revealed it had increased its strategic weighting to green bonds to 3% last year from 1%, and included climate risk in its overall return assumptions, which form the basis for the choice of strategic portfolio.The other three of the main four government funds designed to back the Swedish state pension, AP1, AP3 and AP4 – all located in Stockholm – have yet to report 2019 results.Overall, AP2 said it made a return after costs of 15.9% last year, with total assets growing to SEK381.3bn by the end of December.