Clean Investor, September 13: Danish pension funds back Africa green energy fund

RI’s regular Tuesday round-up of clean investment news

Several large Danish pension funds and other investors are investing in a fund for green-energy projects in Africa. The DI Frontier Market Energy & Carbon Fund, run by Danish asset manager Frontier Investments, has raised Dkr450m (€60m) with investors including Tryg, the Nordic life insurance company (€6.7m), PensionDanmark (€7m) and PFA Pension. Other investors include the British Commonwealth Development Corporation, the EU Fund, and the European Investment Bank’s Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund. Link
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) is holding a webinar today (September 13) to mark the launch of a landmark report on forest finance policy, ahead of international climate change negotiations in Durban later this year. The report – ‘REDDy-Set-Grow: Part II – Recommendations for International Climate Change Negotiators’ – makes recommendations for features of an international climate change agreement on forests that could mobilise private finance flows.
The $227bn (€166.7bn) California Public Employees’ Retirement System is targeting natural resources, utilities and water as part of a plan to invest up to $800m in Californian infrastructure over the next three years. “We are prepared to increase our investments in infrastructure with our first and foremost goal being on investment returns, and a secondary goal of supporting essential community services that are crucial to continued economic development, a safe environment, and healthy schools and communities,” said Rob Feckner, President of CalPERS’ Board of Administration.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has released research that the country’s controversial proposed carbon pricing scheme is unlikely to have a major impact on most super funds. The AIST tapped research firm Trucost to look at the carbon footprints of the Australian equity portfolios of 14 of the largest super funds and found that carbon costs could amount to up to 0.8% of revenue from investee firms.

Australia and the European Union have agreed to start talks to link carbon-emissions trading schemes, reports Thomson Reuters. The Australian government unveiled plans two months ago to impose a tax on carbon emissions from July 2012, before moving to a carbon trading system from mid-2015.

A new issue of the Journal of Environmental Investing is now available and can be accessed, free-of-charge here.Brazil’s BM&FBOVESPA exchange and development bank BNDES have made the first changes to the ICO2 carbon efficient index that was launched last year. The index comprises companies in IBrX-50 index that have accepted involvement in the initiative, adopting transparent practices as regards greenhouse gas emissions.

Greece has presented plans to become Europe’s solar energy powerhouse and aims to attract up to €20bn in investment in the coming decades, reports Thomson Reuters. The ambitious plan, called “Project Helios,” involves multiplying Greek solar power production from 206 megawatts(MW) in 2010 to 2.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and up to 10 GW by 2050, according to an Energy Ministry presentation.

Eleven companies, among them Ballard Power Systems, Broadwind Energy and FuelCell Energy, have been removed from the NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index. There have been five additions: Amyris; Elster Group; IXYS Corp.; KiOR; and Solazyme. The changes take place as of September 19.

The Carlyle Group, the $150bn private equity giant which is planning to list in an initial public offering, has said in a regulatory filing that it plans to raise funds to invest in renewable energy companies. It will not raise the funds with its existing partner Riverstone, with which it runs six funds with around $18bn of AUM.

Union Capital Group, the Geneva-based private fund manager, has bought Plane Tree Capital, a London-based investment management firm focused on the energy sector in Latin America. Plane Tree’s activities will be combined with UCG’s private equity business to form UCG Investments (UCGI), a fund management unit operating from London and Montevideo.

Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute has joined the Green Economy Coalition, which includes WWF International, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Ecologic Institute, Global Footprint Network, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

WHEB Partners, the cleantech private equity fund with £130m (€150.8m) in assets under management and environmentalist Jonathan Porritt on its advisory board, has invested in Oslo-based geothermal power firm Green Energy Group.