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Climate Change

BlackRock to launch green infrastructure fund in Asia

The public-private partnership also eyes projects in Africa and Latin America

BlackRock is leading a public-private 55 billion yen ($500 million) fund aimed at developing infrastructure for the transportation of green energy in emerging markets. (Source photos by AP and Reuters) 

TOKYO -- U.S. investment giant BlackRock will launch a 55 billion yen ($500 million) fund aimed at developing infrastructure for the transportation of green energy in emerging markets, including renewable energy, Nikkei has learned.

The fund, which will be created in collaboration with government agencies and private financial institutions from Japan, Germany, and France, will seek to encourage developing countries to accelerate initiatives to tackle climate change.

Under the name of "Climate Finance Partnership," the fund will target investments in infrastructure projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa. BlackRock, one of the world's largest investment management companies, will act as coordinator.

Half the initial target of around 55 billion yen has already been secured and the fund is likely to make an announcement about its investors soon.

Government-linked organizations such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the French Development Agency, and Germany's state-owned government development bank (KfW) are expected to have contributed around 12 billion yen. Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and other investors are also expected to have injected several billion yen.

The size of the fund could be expanded as financial institutions in developed nations accelerate their environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments.

The fund will be used to set up renewable energy transmission and distribution networks to improve energy efficiency in industrial areas, as well as in the development of transportation infrastructure such as facilities for low-emission vehicles in congested areas.

BlackRock, which has had a major role in the push toward ESG investments, will lead in the selection of investment projects.

Meanwhile, China has been investing huge sums of money in various Asian countries for infrastructure projects like solar power generation as a way to gain support for its Belt and Road Initiative.

Although no single country can match China's investment volume, Japan, Europe and the U.S. aim to join forces to counter Beijing's influence in emerging economies.

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