Billionaire Hohn-Backed Fund Seeks to Boost Clean Energy in Asia

Philanthropic groups including billionaire Chris Hohn’sChildren’s Investment Fund Foundation are backing a plan to support clean energy projects in Southeast Asia as access to traditional finance is squeezed by the pandemic-driven downturn.

The South East Asia Clean Energy Facility has won an initial investment of $10 million from the groups, which also include the Sea Change Foundation International, the Grantham Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and others, and will seek to raise a further $40 million, according to a statement released Tuesday.

$81.​9B Renewable power investment worldwide in Q4 2019 0 3 2 1 0 9 ,0 8 7 6 5 4 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 1 0 9 8 7 Soccer pitches of forest lost this hour, most recent data

Tianjin, ChinaMost polluted air today, in sensor range 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 6 5 4 3 2 .0 1 0 9 8 7 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 4 3 2 1 0 0 5 4 3 2 1 0 5 4 3 2 1 0 2 1 0 9 8 Parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere

50,​820 Million metric tons of greenhouse emissions, most recent annual data 69% Carbon-free net power in the U.K., most recent data

It’s an effort intended to help solar, wind and energy storage projects navigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Imraan Mohammed, head of impact investing at Hohn’s CIFF. “Impact investors and foundations are stepping up to bridge the gap, catalyze other sources of funding and ensure the transition to clean energy in Southeast Asia continues to accelerate,” he said.

The facility, to be managed by Singapore-based Clime Capital Management Pte., will have an initial focus on Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, and seek to offer early-stage funding to sectors including solar, wind, energy storage and clean energy transmission. Such early investments are often seen as high-risk, and are therefore more likely to be hit as investors grow hesitant in the face of the pandemic, according to the fund.

Read more: China Led as World Spent $2.7 Trillion on Renewables in Decade

A total of $2.7 trillion was invested in renewable energy capacity in the last decade, led by China, according to research from BloombergNEF for the United Nations Environment Program and Frankfurt School’s UNEP Center published this month. Existing commitments by governments and companies to install new renewable sources by 2030 point to a slower rate of spending, and currently add up to about $1 trillion of investment.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the charitable organization founded by Michael Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg LP.

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