Clean Investor, February 1: Allianz hails renewable energy’s “attractive returns”

Allianz says its investments in wind and solar power now exceed €1bn, with the focus to remain on euro markets. “Renewable energy is an area that generates attractive returns, irrespective of capital market fluctuations,” said David Jones, CEO of Allianz Specialised Investments (ASI) and Head of Renewable Energy Investment at Allianz Capital Partners. Release

The World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit now manages more than $2.5bn following the start of operations of second tranche of the World Bank’s Umbrella Carbon Facility. “Green investments in wind, waste management, lighting and transport projects across the developing world are set to benefit from new funding for carbon credits generated post-2012,” the bank said.

The Spanish exchange the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has launched a new project – BME Clima – focusing on weather risk management. It’s also unveiled a suite of 42 weather indices as well as a weather consultancy service.

The Asset Owner Disclosure Project has released a climate change guide for asset owners. The 77-page Climate Change Best Practice Methodology is “for use at all levels of the organisation but will most likely be used by either an ESG or climate change executive and the Chief Information Officer”. Link

The $56.9bn (€41.6bn) State Teachers Retirement Board of Ohio has disclosed a 6.56% stake in Ceco Environmetnal Corp., the Ohio-based air pollution control company, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Clean Tech Fund was among investors providing €18.8m in a second round of equity funding for German thin-film photovoltaic firm Sulfurcell. The round was led by Intel Capital, the investment arm of the chip firm. Other investors include: Climate Change Capital, Bankinvest, Zouk Ventures and Demeter. Link*Munich Re* expects $5.5-6bn of catastrophe bonds to be issued in 2011. They will “become increasingly attractive for major institutional investors such as pension funds, which have so far not invested in this asset class,” the reinsurance giant said.

A briefing for institutional investors on the role of Forest Stewardship Council certification in protecting the value of Canada’s timberland investments has been published by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE). Link

Cedrus Partners, the Paris-based advisory firm with €1.5bn in assets under advice, has issued its first Sustainable Funds Market report. It’s a quantitative overview of the sustainable investment funds market.

The Florida State Board of Administration has awarded $400m in timberland mandates, according to Pensions & Investments. The Hancock Timber Resource Group was awarded $300m while $100m will go to Molpus Woodlands Group. Link

Matrix Group, the UK financial services business with £4bn (€4.6) under management, has launched two clean energy venture capital trusts (VCTs), targeting industrial rooftop solar energy projects in the UK and potentially Europe. Matrix aims to raise £12.5m per trust; they have already received a combined £10.5m. Link

The Carbon Disclosure Project says there’s a shift among leading companies on climate change factors in their supply chains. The Carbon Disclosure Project 2011 Supply Chain Report, produced by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, said firms like Dell and PepsiCo are benefitting from “engaging the supply chain in new ways”.

Low Carbon Accelerator, the AIM-listed renewables fund, has invested a further £200,000 (€231,448) in Vigor Renewables, a project development firm formed to take advantage of UK feed-in tariffs. Announcement

Clean Investor recent editions:
Jan 25: LAPFF issues climate change guide for trustees
Jan 18: NBIM raises stake in wind power firm
Jan 11: ATP-linked venture firm in cleantech investment