Repsol Foundation, Crédit Agricole Indosuez, and Portobello Capital launch €100 million ESG reforestation fund

Published on: 04 April 2022

The Repsol Foundation has started up the first investment fund in Spain to back large-scale forestry projects for offsetting CO₂ emissions worth €100 million. More than 24,000 hectares of land will be reforested in various Spanish regions to offset 6 million tonnes of CO over the next five years.

The Repsol Foundation, Crédit Agricole Indosuez, and Portobello Capital launched the first ESG investment fund in Spain today, which will invest in reforestation. It will receive a €100 million investment to encourage the development of large-scale forestry projects that will offset CO2 emissions.

This fund is entirely novel in Europe, and it will exponentially increase reforestation, highlighting this natural climate solution as critical to achieving decarbonization and the energy transition, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda, the European Green Deal, and the Glasgow climate summit commitments (COP26). Over the next five years, initial investments will reforest more than 24,000 hectares of land, offset 6 million tonnes of CO2.

The Repsol Foundation and Grupo Sylvestris' Green Engine project will carry out the reforestation projects funded by this initiative.

It is Spain's largest emissions-offsetting reforestation program, distinguished not only by its environmental benefits, but also by its social impact and promotion of rural economies, with the goal of generating local and inclusive employment and contributing to the economic development of the areas where it is carried out.

Green Engine can make even more progress toward its goal with this new investment power, maximizing its positive impacts on society, the environment, businesses, the economy, and employment, particularly in more vulnerable rural areas. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity for the Iberian Peninsula to take the lead as a carbon sink in Europe.

The new fund was unveiled at Repsol's Campus in the presence of Secretary of State for Economy and Business Affairs, Gonzalo Garca Andrés, Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau, CEO of Indosuez Wealth Management in Spain, Antonio Losada, and founding partner of Portobello Capital, igo Sánchez-Asian.

According to Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau,

"this important project and those developments associated with the 'new carbon economy' are generating multiple opportunities for society and businesses, for technology, innovation, and sustainable finance."

During the presentation, it was stressed that the investment fund is completely aligned with ESG criteria and is aimed at private investors who are committed to long-term sustainable actions aimed at improving society and the environment. Furthermore, the speakers stated that reforestation is an excellent way to progress toward a low-carbon, profitable, efficient, competitive, and scalable economy.

This initiative is supported by leading organizations such as Crédit Agricole Indosuez, Crédit Agricole's global asset management brand (worldwide leader in sustainability bonds), and Portobello Capital, the leading alternative asset manager in southern Europe. Given the growing number of companies that have committed to becoming carbon-neutral, this support reinforces the potential of reforestation in bolstering the growing voluntary market for emissions offsetting.

"The participation of a financial partner such as Indosuez in the development of the first Venture Capital Company for green infrastructure and real CO2 absorption through reforestation represents a truly special incentive, given our corporate commitment to sustainability, It is completely consistent with our parent company, the Crédit Agricole group's social project."

says Antonio Losada, CEO of Indosuez Wealth Management in Spain.

Furthermore, igo Sánchez-Asian, a founding partner of Portobello Capital, stated that

"with this pioneering initiative, we can provide a solution to the growing investor appetite for financial products that support sustainability and social impact. We have the best partners for a one-of-a-kind project that combines a strong commitment to ESG criteria with a financially appealing profile."

Other speakers at the event included Miguel Arias Caete, former European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action and current Senior Advisor at Grupo Beka Finance; Natalia Fabra, chair professor of Economics at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Blanca Navarro, director of strategy and evaluation at the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO); Pablo Bernad, managing partner for Markets and Corporate Consulting at KPMG; and Jaim Sylvestris, managing director of Grupo Sylvestris

Gonzalo Garca Andrés, the Spanish Secretary of State for Economy and Business Affairs, stated that the

"Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan are very well targeted, with around 40% of anticipated investments, above the amount established by the European Commission, destined to the development of energy transition, industry decarbonization, and energy efficiency improvement projects."

"We have some very powerful climate targets," Miguel Arias Caete said, "but we must activate mechanisms to ensure that the energy transition is fair because the effects could be asymmetrical."

Source: Repsol news

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