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Mayor of London announces £70M+ green fund to finance low carbon waste and recycling infrastructure

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced an innovative fund totalling at least £70 million (US$114 million) which will finance low carbon waste and recycling infrastructure.

Addressing an audience of senior financiers at the London Stock Exchange, the Mayor announced that Foresight Group, a leading sustainable asset manager, will manage the waste and recycling fund on behalf of and as part of the London Green Fund. The Foresight Environmental Fund as it will be known, includes £35 million investment from the London Green Fund which Foresight has doubled with commitments for a further £35 million from local authority pension funds and a range of other investors; Foresight seeks to leverage in an overall total of £200 million from pension funds and other private sector investors. The London Green Fund is the first UK fund to combine European, public and private finance to invest in environmental infrastructure.

LWARB (the London Waste and Recycling Board) has been a major contributor to the London Green Fund providing £18 million of the initial £35 million used to set up the Foresight Environmental Fund.

As part of the London Green Fund, the Foresight Environmental Fund will provide investment for projects that will help utilize the value of London’s waste through infrastructure such as power plants to convert waste biomass to clean energy and facilities for recycling waste products such as food and plastics. For example, London produces 2.6 million tons of organic waste a year, which could generate revenues of around £170 million a year. The city produces an estimated 280,000 tons of plastics, much of which has ended up in landfill. But many forms of plastic are of high commercial value which could be worth £140 million a year. This represents a solid and sustainable investment opportunity to also help the city become energy efficient and cut carbon output. It is estimated that the fund's investment into waste infrastructure could generate at least 100 low carbon jobs, save 28,000 tons of carbon and divert 245,000 tons of waste from increasingly costly landfill sites.

The London Green Fund is part of the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) initiative that was developed by the European Commission and European Investment Bank.



THIS is a major triumph! Confirming the realignment of the demised climate campaign to titles like the London Green Fund and JESSICA. Note there is (!thankfully!) no mention of climate.

We are also impressed with the metrics used to describe this project's benefits - JOBS, diverted landfill waste, and carbon "saved."

These subtle but important changes in nomenclature will enlist myriad new supporters to the cause. Nice.

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