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Last year, the world's rich took advantage of $1 trillion worth of property market collapses -- largely from China and India -- that hit the global economy. Billionaire Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara brand clothing line, doubled his global real estate holdings.
Their wealth surged by a third during the pandemic, taking their collective net worth to $45.9 trillion - enough for over two-thirds of President Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID rescue package.
The world's wealthiest entrepreneurs have been closely following the real estate market. As influencers in an industry where risk takes a backseat, they have amassed some $1 Trillion worth of property market power.
The US is at the top of the real estate food chain, where local investors paid a handsome premium for property. Notable names like Amazon's Jeff Bezos have invested in an uber-cool hotel in Las Vegas - as its name would suggest! What's fascinating is that their detractors are not dissimilar from those found elsewhere such as China, UK or beyond.
Despite record profits and a high oil price, many global energy companies are cautiously investing in new production capacity and fossil fuel refining as the world transitions away from hydrocarbons. As such, operational excellence - long a mainstay of the industry - is more important than ever as oil and gas firms strive to deliver affordable sources of reliable energy at reasonable costs.
Climate change requires all industries to come together and reduce carbon emissions in order to transition towards a lower-carbon energy future. The energy sector has the opportunity to be one of the leaders in this endeavor; however, several obstacles stand in the way of oil and gas companies fulfilling their role in achieving this goal.
While the industry has made strides towards combatting climate change, more work needs to be done in order to significantly reduce emissions. To achieve this goal, companies must reduce their energy consumption and waste generation, utilize more renewable sources, and invest in low-carbon technologies.
These goals can be reached through a range of strategies, such as optimizing workflows and processes, utilizing digital technologies, and honing workforce skills. These tactics help companies reduce costs, cut carbon emissions, and minimize risk.
Another strategy oil and gas companies can employ to reduce their carbon footprint is taking steps to mitigate methane emissions from operations. This involves using technologies that track and report these emissions, fixing leaks, and monitoring well sites for emissions.
Oil and gas companies can find assistance from nonpartisan groups such as Center for Responsive Politics and PEER to comply with environmental laws and regulations. These groups offer resources and whistleblower hotlines for reporting violations by government agencies.
The world's wealthy have been making headlines in a variety of sectors, such as technology, oil and gas and real estate. Knight Frank's 2023 report indicates they spent more on commercial properties last year than ever before - setting an all-time record. Not only were they the biggest players in this space but they were also amongst its most active occupants. Many have chosen to stay put, creating both smaller and larger homes in the process.
The world's wealthy are taking advantage of a cratering property market. Asteroids offer potential sources of dozens of natural materials which, at current prices, could be worth billions of dollars.
One such mineral is cobalt, an essential element in electric vehicles. The price of the metal has surged to record heights this year as automakers contend that a shortage is driving up their costs due to increased supply.
Congo has become a key location for mining cobalt, nickel and lithium -- raw materials that have become the next frontier in global energy production. The race to these rare earths has sparked an African power struggle as foreigners vie to control this emerging industrial revolution.
In a country where corruption is rampant and government control of mines is lacking, Chinese companies have invested tens of billions of dollars into mining projects with state-backed banks backing them. Analysts warn that these deals often take place for political gain and give China an undue share in African mineral resources.
Unfortunately, some of these companies are breaking local laws and causing environmental destruction that could negatively affect the local economy. Fortunately, there are various initiatives underway to guarantee that mining operations in the region adhere to responsible mining practices.
Some of these efforts include employing community relations managers and offering training programs for residents who will work at the mines. Nevada, for instance, the company overseeing Thacker Pass has hired a tribal member as its representative at local community meetings and helped recruit tribal members into its mining industry apprenticeship program. Lithium Americas has additionally offered to contribute jobs to a new tribal-led economic development organization in the area.