Clean Investor, November 29: NYSE and Bloomberg team up on clean energy indices

RI’s regular round-up of clean investing news

Exchange group NYSE Euronext and data and research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance have teamed up to launch three regionally-focused clean energy stock indices. They cover the Americas, Europe/Middle East & Africa and Asia/Oceania. The indices, the first of a planned new series, each currently follow a basket of between 125-325 companies with exposure to renewable energy and energy-smart technologies.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has launched an online climate change finance information portal. It aims to make more visible and transparent the financial support provided by developed countries to developing countries to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Société Générale, the French bank, has sold its stake in Orbeo, its five-year-old 50-50 carbon markets venture with Belgian chemical group Solvay. Orbeo will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Solvay’s Rhodia Energy. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Announcement

The £4bn (€4.7bn) London Pension Funds Authority (LPFA) has explained how it is making carbon emissions reduction a key factor in its portfolio selection. Chief Executive Mike Taylor said in an interview with Citywire how the fund wants to encourage environmental, social and corporate governance best practice in its investee companies. “And we also prioritise carbon emissions,” he said. Link

There’s a “latent demand” for investor solutions on climate change, reckons Nick Robins, the head of climate change centre of excellence at HSBC. Speaking at the launch of the new Climate Bonds Standard last week, he added: “We are on the cusp of a great new market.”
The US government is refusing to approve plans for the key global climate-funding vehicle, the Green Climate Fund, according to a report in the Financial Times. The fund aims to channel some of the $100bn a year developed countries have promised to mobilise by 2020 to help developing countries fight climate change.
Germany’s development finance institution DEG has provided €10m of risk capital to Indian solar photovoltaic projects firm Azure Power India Pvt. Ltd. – its first financing of a solar power developer. “The private sector developer of grid-connected Solar PV Projects in India will use the capital for its expansion plans in India over the next couple of years,” DEG said.The Carbon Disclosure Project, which acts on behalf of 551 institutional investors with $71trn (€53.2trn) in assets, has outlined a five-point ‘wish list’ for the current climate change talks in Durban. It includes: Integrated & harmonised reporting between countries, cities & companies; Active & positive political engagement by business; Company action; Investor support; and Clear road to Rio+20.

There has been $206.3m in committed funding and pledges from investors for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) planned Carbon Fund. Among the backers are France’s CDC Climat and oil major BP, who have both put in $5m, according to the fund’s long-term plan presented at a meeting in Berlin last month. Link

Dr. Aled Jones, the head of the new Global Sustainability Institute at the UK’s Anglia Ruskin University, has argued it is time to ask the US to “step aside” from climate change negotiations and let China lead the green economy revolution. Jones also chairs a working group on climate finance within the Capital Markets Climate Initiative on behalf of the UK government.
The UN Environment Programme has released a report showing that cutting emissions by 2020 to a level that could keep temperature rise under 2° C is “technologically and economically feasible”. “Accelerated uptake of renewable energy, fuel switching and energy efficiency improvements can deliver a large slice of the necessary cuts,” says the Bridging the Emissions Gap report, issued ahead of the UN climate talks in South Africa.

Maplecroft, the risk mapping research firm, has released its new Deforestation Index – and found that the world’s highest rates of deforestation, a significant cause of global warming, are happening in Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil. The Index shows that economic growth, poverty, corruption and the rise of biofuels are among the major causes of deforestation in nine countries which have been classified as ‘extreme risk’. Release

The World Bank has approved $297m in loans to Morocco to help finance the 500MW Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Plant Project, with $200m coming from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and $97m from the Clean Technology Fund. “Ouarzazate demonstrates Morocco’s commitment to low-carbon growth and could demonstrate the enormous potential of solar power in the Middle East and North Africa,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. Announcement