UK takes lead on £3bn public-private green fund

The UK looks set to spearhead a private equity injection of just over £3bn for renewable energy projects and other clean technology developments in some of the world’s poorest countries.

International development secretary Andrew Mitchell announced last week that the UK would provide £110m towards two funds, which are intended to support the development of 7GW of new solar, wind, and hydroelectric power plants – two-thirds of the UK’s renewable energy capacity – helping to deliver carbon savings of at least 265 million tonnes.

Mitchell said the project would bring in at least £30 of private capital for every £1 provided by the British taxpayer.

“For too long the power of the private sector has been forgotten in the fight against global challenges,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Our support will reduce the risk of investing, helping the private sector to tackle this global problem by investing in some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“This project is firmly in Britain’s economic interest. Boosting growth across the world will open up markets to British goods and services in the fastest growing economies.”

The money is part of the £2.9bn in fast-start climate funding the UK pledged at the Copenhagen summit in 2009, of which over £1bn has already been delivered.

It marks one of the first steps for the Climate Public Private Partnership (CP3), which was developed by the UK government, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to provide early stage capital for green projects in developing countries.

The UK government will provide an initial equity investment as well as funding for a technical support facility.

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