CEFC backs MIRA’s emissions reduction efforts with A$100m commitment

Clean Energy Finance Corporation says that investors are ‘more aware than ever’ of the need to take action on energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made a A$100 million ($68 million; €61 million) equity commitment to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets‘ Australian infrastructure platform.

CEFC declined to identify the fund, describing it only as a “discretionary infrastructure fund” managed by MIRA.

The investment will be used to pursue emissions reduction and energy efficiency across MIRA’s Australian infrastructure assets. CEFC said this would focus on “global best practice” including the setting of science-based targets around emissions.

When asked what mechanisms would be in place to ensure the investment was used to support emissions reduction, a CEFC spokeswoman said: “As with all our investments, we work alongside the co-investors on emissions reduction opportunities.”

CEFC chief executive Ian Learmouth said in a statement that investors and asset managers are “more aware than ever” that immediate action is required to cut emissions.

“There are a range of proven technologies and strategies that can cut emissions in Australia’s diverse transport and energy assets and improve productivity and energy consumption. We recognise that these investments can be significant and need to work for the long term.”

The agency outlined several technologies that could be deployed including the installation of solar PV and batteries, energy-efficient buildings, the provision of fixed ground power and pre-conditioned air at airports, replacement of vehicle fleets with electric vehicles, and demand management of transport and distribution assets.

The asset manager will work with CEFC to identify opportunities for emissions reduction “on a day-to-day basis”, as well as improving operational and enhancing service provision, MIRA managing director Kieran Zubrinich said in the statement.

In February 2018, CEFC committed A$100 million to MIRA’s agricultural cropping fund to support energy efficiency and the use of low-emissions technology in Australian farming.

It has invested in other infrastructure funds, including a A$150 million commitment to IFM Investors’ open-ended Australian Infrastructure Fund, which holds assets including New South Wales electricity distributor Ausgrid, Melbourne Airport, and NSW Ports.

It also made a cornerstone A$150 million to Morrison & Co’s Growth Infrastructure Fund, which aims to target core-plus assets with high growth potential.

The CEFC is responsible for investing A$10 billion on behalf of the Australian government into measures which lower the country’s carbon emissions.