Amber to run £100m London green fund

The infrastructure investor has been awarded a mandate for a 10-year, £100m public fund to help London go green, building-by-building. Amber is developing a track record managing public money and already has a £55m regeneration fund in Wales.

A consortium led by Amber Infrastructure, the erstwhile public-private partnership (PPP) division of defunct infrastructure investor Babcock & Brown, has won a mandate to run a £100 million (€114 million; $161 million) investment fund to make public buildings across London more energy efficient.

The fund, known as the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF), is part of London Green Fund (LGF), a platform created by London Mayor Boris Johnson.  

Via LEEF, Johnson is aiming to significantly cut carbon emissions by 2020. Currently, public sector carbon emissions amount to 4 million tonnes per year, or 10 percent of London’s total carbon footprint, Amber said in a statement.

LEEF aims to be fully invested by 2015 and is structured as a 10-year, closed-ended fund. Amber will manage it together with consortium partners Arup and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). RBS has seeded the fund with £50 million with the other £50 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund, London Development Agency and London Waste and Recycling Board.

Amber is steadily building a track record in managing public funds. The infrastructure investor already manages the £55 million Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales, part of the European Union’s Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA), and has been shortlisted to run the £48 million Scottish Urban Development Fund, another JESSICA initiative.

In March, the UK’s Centre for Sustainable Energy published a kind of energy efficiency report card on London and the final grade was less than stellar. According to the report, the cityscape is leaving a deep carbon footprint, renewable energy use is scarce, and CO2 production is in the high tonnage.