India, 5 December 2023: British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, today announced a $25 million commitment to the GEF South Asia Growth Fund III’s (GEF SAGF III) first close. The Fund will invest in companies and projects that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy mainly in India and parts of South East Asia.
The Indian subcontinent is vulnerable to climate change with an increasing incidence of extreme weather like flash floods and heatwaves. The government in India has set a target to meet 50 per cent of its electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030 and to reach net zero emissions by 2070. It is estimated that $160bn per year is needed until 2030 to achieve these goals.
The Fund’s differentiated, high-impact climate finance strategy invests in three critical areas that support India’s transition to a green and resilient economy – Adaptation, Mitigation, and Circular Economy. With BII’s investment, the Fund will tap into multiple sectors, ranging from renewable energy value chain, energy efficiency, food and water security solutions, to low-carbon transition, waste recovery and mobility solutions as well as smart city innovations.
Alexander Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, said: “Combatting climate change together is one of the top UK/India priorities. Today’s announcement shows the UK’s commitment to support India’s green growth and creating new, green jobs, and BII’s work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while alleviating poverty.”
Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia at BII, commented: “We are proud to partner with GEF in our mission to promote sustainable energy in Asia. We have witnessed first-hand the transformative potential of the GEF SAGF II, and our renewed commitment with GEF SAGF III will accelerate India and South East Asia’s journey towards a greener future. The fund will support our goal of enabling sustainable practices, with a focus on renewable energy, efficient resource management, and cutting-edge environmental solutions.”
Raj Pai, Managing Partner at GEF Capital, added: “BII has been a critical catalyst for scaling climate finance in South and South East Asia by extending its expertise in climate investments, ESG and developmental impact thought leadership. GEF remains very excited to count BII as a long-term partner towards defining productive, sustainable, and inclusive growth through our climate impact investment.”
GEF SAGF III follows the predecessor fund, GEF SAGF II where BII had also committed $25 million.