Swiss Re announced that it has successfully closed the €329 million ($446 million) European Clean Energy Fund to further investment. "The Fund, a UN accredited investment vehicle, provides capital to European clean energy projects, which are environmentally beneficial, generate carbon credits or tradable renewable energy certificates," said the bulletin.
The money was provided by institutional investors in Europe, Canada and the U.S. Swiss Re said it would provide "mezzanine and equity capital to a host of environmentally-friendly initiatives, including wind, solar, hydro-electric, geothermal and waste-to-energy projects." The reinsurer is also the "anchor investor in the Fund and acts as carbon advisor for the selected projects."
Swiss Re's affiliate, Conning Research and Consulting, placed the Fund in Europe. TCW, an indirect subsidiary of Société Générale, is the Fund's investment manager.
Swiss Re CEO Jacques Aigrain commented: "The launch of the European Clean Energy Fund is part of Swiss Re's commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative and another important step in our approach to tackle the issue of climate change. This Fund not only contributes to the progress of clean energy projects, it also aims to provide attractive returns to investors, while enhancing Swiss Re's expertise in the environmental markets business, both in investments and carbon market services."
Walter Blasberg, Conning's Head of Client Business Development, added: "The European Clean Energy Fund was attractive to investors because of its strong and skilled sponsors, its potential to offer healthy returns and the opportunity to allow investors to make a difference in the environment."
Swiss Re also noted that the "United Nations Economic Commission for Europe awarded the Fund a mandate under the Energy Efficiency 21 Project. This qualifies the Fund as an accredited investment vehicle within the UN system, which allows the Fund to participate in special project financing initiatives and to receive UN grant money for Kyoto Protocol and climate change related projects."