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UK’s CDC Group to invest over £3b over the next five years to combat climate emergency

  • UK’s development finance institution will be one of the world’s largest climate finance providers to African economies
  • All investments to be aligned with Paris Agreement

CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, is to invest over £3 billion to support emerging economies in Africa and Asia to combat the climate emergency.

The commitment, made today at COP26 in Glasgow, will make CDC one of the world’s largest climate finance investors in Africa and select South Asian markets. The announcement contributes to the ‘Clean Green Initiative’ announced this week by the Prime Minister to help developing countries take advantage of green technology and grow their economies sustainably.

The £3 billion of climate finance from CDC will be invested over the next five years across a number of different sectors, such as renewable power, infrastructure and agriculture, including forestry. It will be deployed to support emerging economies to meet their Paris Agreement goals, and to adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency that are already being felt today.

CDC expects power generated from is rapidly expanding portfolio of renewable power investments to double in size over the next five years. The proportion of electricity generated by renewables across CDC’s entire energy portfolio will grow from 32 per cent to about 70 per cent over the same period, as new investments come online.

CDC will also increase venture capital investment in early stage, technology-based businesses that have the potential to play vital roles in the fight against climate change.

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This will be supported by the £200 million Climate Innovation Facility announcement by the UK Government at COP26. The new fund has been set up to provide finance for the most pioneering climate solutions in developing countries. By testing – and then scaling – the most effective solutions, CDC will aim to seed new markets for investment.

The first beneficiary of the new fund is Pula, a Kenya based agritech business. The purpose of the capital is to pilot a new “Pay-at-Harvest” insurance product, something which is virtually untested in Africa but has the potential to significantly increase smallholder uptake of insurance, delivering both development and climate impacts.  

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, said: “The financial commitment announced today will mean that CDC will become a global leader in climate finance in Africa and South Asia. COP is about making specific commitments to act, and this is demonstrated by a doubling of our financial support to those countries most vulnerable to the ravages of the climate emergency”

CDC today unveiled a number of new climate related investments.

These are:

  • $70 million investment in the Green Growth Equity Fund, India’s first dedicated climate finance fund, to make investments in a further six to eight innovative companies
  • $28 million investment in Atlas Solar, the Pakistan solar power company, for a project that will generate 100MW of renewable energy
  • $37 million investment in Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, a fund that invests in in small hydro, wind, geothermal and solar projects across sub-Saharan Africa
  • $10 million of follow up investment in M-Kopa, the Kenyan off-grid solar company that provides vital power for homes and communities in rural locations
  • $14 million invested in Leap India Food and Logistics, an agri-warehousing and logistics company based in India
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Over the period 2017 to 2020, CDC invested over US $1 billion in climate finance across Africa and South Asia. The organisation’s portfolio of over 1000 investments will be net zero by 2050 at the latest.

About CDC

1. CDC Group is the UK’s impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa. 

2.The company is a leading player in the fight against climate change and has committed more than $1bn of climate finance over the last four years. 

3.     CDC is also a founding member of the 2X challenge which has raised $10bn to empower women’s economic development.  

4.     The company has investments in over 1000 businesses in emerging economies and total assets of $9.3bn. In 2020, CDC committed over of $1.5bn to businesses in Africa and Asia, and aims to invest up to $1.75bn in 2021 – with a focus on driving inclusive growth, job creation and supporting economic recovery from COVID-19. 

5.     CDC is funded by the UK government and is a champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All proceeds from CDC’s investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia. 

6.     CDC’s expertise makes it an ideal partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment. 

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