The leadership of the United Nations committee developing a green climate fund is emerging. It will be headed by Kjetil Lund, State Secretary at Norway’s Ministry of Finance, South African Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero. The Transitional Committee for the design of the Green Climate Fund held its first meeting in Mexico City at the end of April – and will report before the next climate conference in Durban at the end of the year. Link
The Carbon Disclosure Project, the not-for-profit climate change data organisation, is joining the Climate Bond Standards Board, said Climate Bonds Initiative Chair Sean Kidney. The CDP’s Nigel Topping added: “The Climate Bonds Initiative is playing a crucial role in advancing standards that will unleash the power of logical investment, sooner rather than later.” The first standard on climate bonds is set to be released “within weeks”. Link
Caisse des Dépôts, the €224bn French state investor, says its Solandes renewable energy joint venture with Spain’s Eosol has inaugurated its first photovoltaic project. The 8MW plant in Villeneuve de Marsan in the Landes region in southwestern France was commissioned on March 30. Meanwhile, the Caisse’s Strategic Investment Fund and the Nass&Wind Group are to invest €18m in French wind turbine maker Vergnet. Link
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the UN REDD Programme is set to launch a new report on the role of financial institutions in forest-carbon markets. It is hosting the launch of the study at an event at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London on May 6.
Global Forestry Capital, a Luxembourg-based investment and advisory firm, has held a first close of its Global Forestry Growth Fund SICAV. It said the offering “was made to sophisticated and qualified institutional investors” and that the fund is aiming to generate annualized returns of between 8% and 10% over the medium to long term.Wells Fargo & Co. is to invest up to $120m in US solar photovoltaic power projects being developed by solar firm SunEdison over the next year. The move builds on a SunEdison solar investment fund established in 2007 in which the bank invested more than $200m in around 150 SunEdison solar projects in eight states. SunEdison is a unit of New York-listed MEMC Electronic Materials. Announcement
Cordiant Capital, the Montreal-based fund manager, says it has committed C$17m (€12m) in mezzanine funding towards a new C$214m corn ethanol producing plant in Hungary. The new plant, Pannonia Ethanol, is expected to double Hungary’s current ethanol output level. Link
Canada: the Saskatchewan government has approved the C$1.24bn (€879m) Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project – claimed to be among the first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage facilities in the world. The aim is to transform an ageing generating unit into a producer of “reliable, clean electricity” while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by some 1m tonnes per year. Contractors to the project include SNC Lavalin, Shell subsidiary Cansolv and Hitachi. Announcement
The European Investment Bank is appraising a proposal to invest up to €135m in an Austrian wind farm venture put forward by family–owned firm PK Wind Power. The project relates to two locations with a combined 162MW capacity in eastern Austria, with a total cost of €280m.
US communications firm Verizon says it has developed a new metric for measuring carbon efficiency. The “carbon intensity metric” was developed by its Sustainability Office and is derived by dividing total carbon emissions by the amount of data transmitted.
Energy firms operating six wind farms in Scotland have been paid some £900,000 (€1m) to stop producing energy, according to a BBC News report. It’s alleged the turbines were stopped because the grid network could not absorb all the energy they generated during high winds earlier this month.