Australia is about to see a huge amount of money flow into its largest infrastructure fund thanks to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The corporation is investing $150 million into the fund in a bid to reduce emissions from a number of Australia’s airports, ports and electricity infrastructure assets.
This marks the first time that the CEFC has invested in an infrastructure fund. The money will go towards the reduction of emissions in the airports of Melbourne and Brisbane as well as Port Botany in Sydney and the Port and Brisbane and Ausgrid.
According to the CEFC, reducing the emissions coming from those places would prevent around 69,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere every year. This is the same as taking 14,775 cars off the roads each year or roughly how much electricity 7,450 homes use in a year. It is clear that this reduction would make quite a difference.
The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory has stated that in Australia over half of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions are infrastructure related. The Inventory estimates that around 35% of the emissions come from the electricity sector and 17% come from the transport sector.
The mission of the CEFC is to decrease these emission levels. The corporation is a financier that specialises in clean energy and aims to increase the flow of money into renewable energy. It also wants to drive energy efficiency and fund the development of low emissions technologies.
The CEFC chief executive, Ian Learmouth, said that: “infrastructure assets are central to our economic and social wellbeing.” He went on to explain that the $150 million investment into the Australian Infrastructure Fund would lead to emission reductions. These reductions, enabled by the fund, which already holds $12 billion, would benefit the communities in which these infrastructure assets are based.
He went on to say: “With this investment the CEFC will work with IFM Investors in targeting comprehensive and sustained improvements to the carbon footprint of some of our most important infrastructure assets.”
IFM Investors is owned by 27 industry super funds in Australia and has to date invested on behalf of around 6 million Australians. In addition to this, it has invested for 15 million pension fund members from around the world. After starting up just 20 years ago, it now has a total of $100 billion under management.
The global head of infrastructure at IFM Investors, Kyle Mangini, believes that the boardrooms of the companies involved will be the hubs of.
“We’re represented on the boards, so we’ll propose to the board and the other investors the various programs that might be implemented across each one of the assets,” he said.
He carried on by explaining that the board will need to work on a cost and return basis but noted that this could be done through the regular governance process. Meanwhile, IFM Investors is going to be right there making sure there is an appropriate and consistent level of focus on reducing emissions.
Julia Hinwood, the infrastructure lead at CEFC, said that they are looking at pursuing a number of various initiatives design to reduce emissions. These include on-site solar panels and batter storage solutions as well as a drive to use more electric vehicles.
“They are also likely to involve using smart management systems, which monitor asset performance and assist with reducing energy consumption and optimising logistics and supply chains,” she said.
Finally, Mangini has explained how he plans on keeping IFM Investors accountable. There are plans to report emissions levels from each of the assets on a new website, along with targets and progress made towards those targets.