Clinton Initiative Wraps with $7.3B in Pledges; More Than $3.69 Billion in Investment for Energy and Climate Change Committed
The Clinton Global Initiative conference closed this week with 215 commitments valued at $7.3 billion from companies, governments and non-profit groups. Commitments were focused on the four themes of reducing climate change, disease, poverty and religious conflict.
Although the headliner commitment was Sir Richard Branson’s estimated $3 billion pledge (over ten years) to reinvest proceeds from his transport groups to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, 39 other attendees committed to action in the climate and energy area as well. Projects range from additional investment funds to greenhouse gas offset projects and developing resources for consumers.
Branson committed all future proceeds to the Virgin Group (dividends, realizations and share sales) from its transportation interests (airlines and trains) will be invested into renewable energy initiatives both within these transportation companies and further investments in new biofuel R & D production, distribution and other projects to tackle emissions related to global warming.
As our first significant demonstration of this we recently launched Virgin Fuels. A unique new investment vehicle for a series of international renewable energy investments by the Virgin Group with an early focus on bio-fuels (rather than other alternative energy sources or industrial power generation). The scope of the Company’s investment strategy will also include research and development of new bio-fuels suitable for both ground transportation and aviation.
Virgin Fuels has an initial funding commitment from the Virgin Group of up to $400 million over three years for biofuel investment and R & D. The new group recently took its first position in the sector with an investment in Cilion, Inc., a new corn-ethanol company. (Earlier post.)
Not to be left out on the investment side, the venture capital firm KPCB (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) pledged to double its existing $100 million commitment—launched in February—to funding breakthrough clean energy technology ventures in biofuels, solar cells, fuel cells, storage, energy management and conservation.
KPCB partners will dedicate the additional $100 million over two years to support new ventures in Greentech to rapidly improve the pace of technology adoption in clean energy.
Second, KPCB will create a KPCB Prize for Greentech Policy Innovators to recognize and award $50,000 to an outstanding policy entrepreneur each year.
ABN AMRO said it will create a renewable energy private equity fund to make major investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency companies. The focus of the fund is global with a target market of OECD countries and select emerging markets.
The company is committing to investing up to $63 million equivalent (€50 million) for its own account with the remaining funds to be raised from institutional investors, for a minimum fund size of US$ 190 million equivalent (€150 million). The Fund will seek to measure CO2 reduction created by its investments.
Following the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, ABN AMRO approved a corporate Climate Change Position. ABN AMRO committed to a 15% reduction of its energy consumption by 2008, and to further offset CO2 emissions through a private equity investment fund to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency offsets.
The Enel Group—Italy’s global power company and a leader in geothermal power generation—pledged to at least double over the coming 24 months the amount applied to investment in and acquisition of renewables in developing and/or transition countries.
That doubling, compared to the average amount per year invested in 2001-2005, works out to a $400-million commitment over two years.