Clean Investor, February 15: Railpen quizzes managers on climate change

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

The Railways Pension Trustee Co. Ltd., the trustee for the UK’s £17bn (€20bn) various railway pension funds, has asked its external asset managers to complete a detailed climate change risk audit. “We addressed this to our fund managers in every asset class because climate change affects all asset classes,” said chairman Derek Scott in a members’ newsletter.
AP2, the SEK222.5bn (€25.4bn) Swedish buffer fund Andra AP-fonden, has made its first foray into forestry and agricultural real estate via three funds: an agricultural fund in the US, a forest fund in the US and a forest fund in Australia/New Zealand, according to its 2010 Annual Report (Swedish).

A company linked to Finland’s €33.2bn Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co. has successfully completed a three-year trial of biofuels on the Helsinki bus network. Emission control firm Proventia, in which Varma is an “important owner”, ran the trial with Neste Oil and HSL as part of a Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation research program. Announcement

The Overseas Private Investment Corp., the US development finance institution, has extended the deadline for responding to its request for proposals for funds investing in renewable energy, efficiency and natural resources. The deadline is now February 18. OPIC is being advised by Cambridge Associates.

The Greening Canada Fund, the carbon emissions reduction fund, has added two new investors: law firm Stikeman Elliott and consulting firm Deloitte. The fund was launched in 2009 with lead investors BMO Financial Group and TD Bank Financial and is run by carbon finance firm Green Power Action. Link
Low Carbon Accelerator, the AIM-listed clean investment fund, is in talks to cut its more than 50% stake in Scotland-based wind turbine manufacturer Proven Energy. Its investment manager Low Carbon Investors has been in discussions “with a number of potential co-investors”. LCA’s investors include Derbyshire County Council and the South Yorkshire Pension Fund. Link*UK investment* institutions, representing more than £500bn (€594bn) in assets have written to Prime Minister David Cameron welcoming a Green Investment Bank. The firms were convened by UKSIF and include Aviva Investors, the Co-operative Financial Services, the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, Jupiter Fund Management, F&C Asset Management, Henderson Global Investors and Insight Investment.
Reinsurance giant Munich Re has extended its renewables credentials with the announcement that it is insuring the guarantees which German wind-power firm Fuhrländer is giving its customers. Munich Re says it is “facilitating business for both vendors and investors and paving the way for future technologies to enter the market”.

Socially responsible investing specialist Harrington Investments has divested from Spanish wind turbine firm Gamesa over reports it was taking advantage of poor land owners in Mexico. “We have a fiduciary duty to our clients to screen companies that not only show a strong commitment to their communities, but also invest in companies that respond to shareholder concerns, both of which Gamesa failed to do,” said CEO John Harrington.

The US Department of Commerce has set up a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee comprising industry participants. The group will “will provide support on trade issues that will support the international competitiveness of US companies in this expanding sector. Link to site

SAM (Sustainable Asset Management) has disclosed a 10.25% stake in China water treatment firm Duoyuan Global Water Inc. It also has an 8.36% holding in solar panel producer Canadian Solar.

The estate of Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton has disclosed an 18.5% holding in Arizona-based solar module maker First Solar Inc.

Credit Suisse has disclosed a 14.06% holding in Nanjing-based solar cell maker China Sunergy Co. Ltd.