British International Investment
9 November 2022

British International Investment accelerates climate finance commitments at COP27

  • The UK’s development finance institution has already delivered $500 million in climate finance this year and is well above its 30 per cent climate finance target
  • BII has delivered over $1.7 billion of climate finance since 2018
  • DFI unveils a range of new climate initiatives at COP27

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, announced today that it has delivered $500m of climate finance so far this year and is on course to significantly exceed its annual 30 per cent climate finance target.

BII, which is the UK government’s primary vehicle for delivering climate finance to many countries that are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate emergency, said the amount compared to just $38.8 million in 2015.

The DFI is committed to making at least 30 per cent of its investments by value in climate finance. The percentage for 2022 will be significantly above that figure and compares with just 5 per cent in 2015. Alongside increasing its delivery of climate finance, BII is committed to Paris alignment and is developing a strategy for reaching net zero at a portfolio level by 2050.

Speaking at COP27, Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of BII, said: “BII has exponentially increased its commitment to fighting the climate emergency over the last decade. We are now one of the largest providers of green investment in Africa and I fully expect that our levels of climate finance will continue to rise over the next decade.”

As well as providing investment for climate change mitigation, BII is equally focused on providing patient capital to support African economies to adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency being felt today.

BII supports Africa’s entrepreneurs who are providing innovative and far-sighted solutions to combating the climate emergency – from resilient water infrastructure, to green hydrogen, nature-based solutions and sustainable forestry. It recently announced that it had anchored the first $200m close of the African Forestry Impact Fund, a sustainable forestry fund managed by New Forests. In the first ten years of the investment, millions of tons of carbon dioxide will be removed from the atmosphere.

The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said:  “British International Investment is providing vital finance in developing markets to deal with the devastating impacts of climate change. From sustainable forestry techniques to green hydrogen, BII is investing in the technological solutions which will enable our partners to adapt to the impacts of climate change, boost productivity and reduce emissions.”

Through BII’s venture capital programme it has invested in Apollo Agriculture. This is an early-stage company providing smallholder maize farmer with climate smart weather insurance to build adaptation and resilience to extreme weather events.

Another example is a second investment in Jacoma Estates, a macadamia nut processing facility. This capital will be used for solar powered efficient irrigation system, in an area where in some months of the year there is limited water availability, increasing the resiliency of this business.

About $80 million of BII’s investments this year were both 2X and climate finance qualified, showing how the company is also targeting finance at the nexus of gender and climate.

BII will also be announcing a range of other policy and investment initiatives at COP27.

  • It has launched a Practitioner’s Guide on Transition Finance as a tool to ensure net zero commitments deliver real world change and development in Africa. This guide is BII’s first step in helping financial institutions to confidently classify and structure financial support for activities that are not pure “climate finance” – but that are no less important for achieving development pathways consistent with 1.5 degrees.
  • On Saturday, BII will announce a new milestone for the Adaptation and Resilience Investors Collaborativea group of DFIs and partner organisations that are committed to accelerating and scaling investments in climate adaptation and resilience to support vulnerable developing and emerging countries.
  • On Water Day next Monday, BII will unveil its commitment to invest in water and sanitation in Africa with the aim of supporting the continent to move towards a climate-resilient development pathway.

Amal-Lee Amin, Managing Director Climate, Diversity and Advisory at BII, said: “At a time when the impacts of the climate emergency have never been so obvious or so severe, BII is stepping up as a trusted partner to African nations that must urgently take action to adapt economic sectors and increase resiliency of local communities.”


For further information and for interview requests please contact:

Andrew Murray-Watson, Head of UK Media

M: +44 7515 695232

E: [email protected]

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