Clean Investor, March 1: ASrIA proposes Asia Investor Group on Climate Change

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

ASrIA, the Association for Sustainable and Responisble Investment in Asia, has proposed launching the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) and is looking for support and founding members. The idea, floated in a new report – Unlocking Asia’s potential: Integrating Climate Change Criteria into Investment Decisions – aims to address region’s shift to a low carbon economy and to increase understanding amongst beneficiaries, asset owners and asset managers.

Global asset manager BlackRock has set up a renewable power investment group with Dublin-based resources firm NTR Plc. Under the deal, NTR’s Chief Executive Jim Barry will become Chief Investment Officer of the $110bn BlackRock Alternative Investors, reporting to Matt Botein, the head of BlackRock’s alternatives division. Announcement

Sustainable bank Triodos says it plans to “accelerate” its lending to renewable energy projects. It says its “most important ambition in 2011” is to grow its loan portfolio to renewable energy (solar and wind) and other innovations in Europe that cut the reliance on fossil fuels.

Inflows into Sustainable Asset Management’s Sustainable Agribusiness Equities fund have surged by about a third in the past month and a half, according to a Bloomberg News report, which cited SAM senior portfolio manager Martin Jochum.

The Clean Water America Alliance, a Washington-based non-profit organisation, has released a set of Water Sustainability Principles. The CWAA aims to collaborate on a flexible framework that highlights the value of water and the need for specific and sustainable action.

Första AP-fonden, the SEK218.8bn (€25bn) Swedish buffer fund AP1, has said it will incorporate Mercer’s recent study on climate change into its strategic long-term investment planning. “Our participation in the project has not only given us better insight into the potential effects of climate change on different asset classes and the long-term performance of our portfolio, it has also provided us with better tools for our strategic asset allocation analysis, which is the core of our investment model,” said AP1’s MD Johan Magnusson.

Italian solar developer Solar Investment Group, headed by former Falck SpA chairman Achille Colombo, is currently raising funds for its second (development) and third (asset) funds. S.IG. 1, its first fund, which closed in November 2009, raised €40m. It is represented by US-based Vireo Energy Financial Services.The European Investment Bank increased financing for climate action projects to €19bn in 2010 (out of total lending of €72bn), up from €16bn the year before. It hailed it as a “new landmark in supporting sustainable growth and building a low-carbon future in Europe”. Link

Deutsche Bank’s Climate Change Advisors has issued a new report called “Investing in Climate Change 2011, The Mega-Trend Continues: Exploring Risk and Return”. Kevin Parker, Global Head of Deutsche’s Asset Management division, said: “Institutional investors are giving greater consideration than ever before to climate change in their assessment of asset allocation.” Link

The C$53.3bn (€39.6bn) Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has confirmed it is in talks about partnering with engineering group SNC-Lavalin Group in a bid for the commercial reactor business of Canada’s nuclear agency, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., according to a Reuters report citing OMERS’ Chief Executive Michael Nobrega.

Jupiter Green Investment Trust has exited its holding in Spanish wind power firm Gamesa, according to an interim management statement. It has also established a position in China Suntien Green Energy and added holdings in Hansen Transmissions (clean energy), and Newalta and Daiseki (waste management).

Swiss Bank Julius Baer hosted an investment conference in Zurich last month on the theme: ‘Change for a better world – are green investments sustainable?’. It featured speakers such as academic Niall Ferguson, Cleantech Switzerland’s Uwe Krueger, its own Christian Gattiker, Earth Captial Partners’ Lord Fink and James Cameron of Climate Change Capital. Link

The UK’s Carbon Footprint Investments has launched the IFSL Carbon Footprint UK350 Equity Index Tracker Fund. Its investment strategy aims to identify companies that offer carbon efficient operations and are likely to provide comparable investment returns relative to less carbon efficient companies. Link

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the “Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative” which aims to boost the funding of infrastructure. Its objective is to help private project companies attract capital market funding from investors such as pension funds and insurance companies.