France, Germany announced on Wednesday that they are joining forces with investment giant BlackRock to speed up attracting capital to invest in projects fighting against climate change in developing countries. The Climate Finance Partnership (CFP) brings together BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, France’s development agency AFP, the German environment ministry, and a number of private foundations.
The plan was announced on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where private sector players and governments are under increasing pressure to show they are serious about reversing global warming. BlackRock already announced last week it is divesting holdings in companies that generate more than a quarter of their sales from thermal coal production. The CFP aims “to mobilise top-tier institutional capital investment into climate-related sectors in emerging markets, at scale,” the parties said in a statement. The investments will be targeted towards countries in South East Asia, Latin America, and crucially Africa, which will account for at least 25 percent of the total capital invested.
Projects could include renewable energy, energy efficiency in homes and offices, energy storage and electric transport, a statement said. “The unique challenges posed by climate change call for stronger joint action,” said Remy Rioux, the CEO of the French development agency AFD. It will “help redirect financial flows towards sustainable development investments across the emerging world, and will include a priority focus on Africa,” he added. There will be an initial investment of at least $100 million and then BlackRock will mobilise a goal of at least $400 million in institutional private equity capital commitments.
“This would result in a minimum size of $500 million at first close and CFP parties share a collective goal of further scaling the vehicle going forward,” the statement said. France and Germany intend to contribute $30 million each to the partnership. In addition, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust have committed $10 million and $7.5 million respectively.
The CFP, a project initially announced in September 2018, is the first vehicle focused on climate infrastructure investments in emerging markets of BlackRock, “We believe creative collaboration is essential to mobilising investment into climate infrastructure in emerging markets at scale, providing our clients with further opportunity to invest in the global low-carbon transition,” said Brian Deese, Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock.