New Zealand, BlackRock Launch $1.2 Billion Climate Infrastructure Fund to Accelerate Energy Transition Goals
The Government of New Zealand and investment giant BlackRock announced today the launch of a new NZ$2 billion (USD$1.2 billion) fund aimed at investing in New Zealand’s climate infrastructure.
In a statement announcing the launch, the government said that the goal of the fund is support New Zealand’s ambition to be one of the first countries in the world to reach 100% renewable energy. The fund will include investments from private sector funds, as well as New Zealand crown companies and superannuation funds.
According to Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods, the new fund will enable businesses to access pools of capital for investments in cleantech and infrastructure to accelerate the country’s emissions reductions, including areas such as battery storage, wind and solar generation, green hydrogen production and electric vehicle chargers.
“The projects funded through investment in the New Zealand net zero Fund will not only decarbonise our energy use, but will also create highly-skilled jobs here in New Zealand, and opportunities to grow New Zealand companies.”
The launch of the fund follows the release last year by the government of its Emission Reduction plan to address climate change and the country’s transition to a low emissions economy. Key initiatives in the plan included setting a target for 50% of total final energy consumption to come from renewable sources by 2035, and to develop energy strategies for a net zero economy in 2050. New Zealand has also set an aspirational goal to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins called the fund “a game changer for the clean tech sector,” that will “super charge investments in clean technology that might otherwise not have happened.”
“With countries around the world experiencing the impacts of climate change on a daily basis, it’s never been more urgent to invest in technology that will help address the climate crisis, and New Zealand is well positioned to be a home for that investment.”
According to BlackRock, the fund marks the firm’s largest single country decarbonization-focused project to date. In a statement announcing the launch of the fund, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said:
“New Zealand doesn’t just have the ambition to build a more resilient energy system and be a leader in decarbonization globally. It is already doing that today. As we approach COP28 at the end of this year, the world is looking for models of cooperation between the private and public sectors to ensure an orderly, just, and fair energy transition. Building on BlackRock’s Climate Finance Partnership fund announced at COP26 in Glasgow, the New Zealand climate infrastructure strategy can be a model for how to scale and implement this vision.”