British International Investment
8 September 2023

British International Investment unveils raft of commitments in support of the African Climate Summit

British International Investment last week unveiled a string of new initiatives in support of the inaugural African Climate Summit. 

BII, which over the last two years has invested over half a billion pounds to climate finance in Africa, reaffirmed its commitment to supporting African economies reach their net zero targets while becoming more resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency that are already being felt today.  

On Wednesday BII’s energy distribution subsidiary company, Gridworks, announced a plan to bring affordable renewable electricity to 70 per cent of the population of Burundi within seven years.  

A new company, Weza Power, is the result of a multi-year development partnership between Virunga Power (a Gridworks investee company) and the Government of Burundi. UK Development Minister, the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP and President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, attended the launch of the new initiative. 

Only 12 per cent of Burundi’s population currently has access to electricity. The Weza Power investment aims to provide access to an additional nine million people.   

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of BII, said: “I am delighted that BII is supporting the delivery of clean, green and affordable electricity to the people in Burundi. The investment will have a transformative impact at a country-wide scale and deliver significant economic and social gains.” 

BII also launched a new framework to help countries and development finance practitioners develop sustainable and climate resilient water systems at a panel on scaling private adaptation finance during Africa Climate Week. 

The Climate Adaptation and Renewable Energy (CARE) for Water framework sets out to  identify and address barriers which could unlock more private sector investment for climate resilient water systems. The approach would particularly help sectors that rely on water such as food and energy. 

BII intends to invest $200m into water infrastructure over the next five years, as part of its commitment to provide adaptation and resilience finance and will work to mobilise considerably more. 

Nicola Mustetea, Director, Head of Climate Change at BII, said: Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, is already negatively affecting millions of people around the world, worsening poverty, and disrupting societies. It is also compounding biodiversity loss at an ever-increasing pace. 

“The CARE approach, published today, provides an approach to help catalyse investments for climate-resilient waters value chains by navigating those challenges through system-wise collaboration.” 

To coincide with Africa Climate Week ACS, BII also launched a new toolkit to help fund managers get started on integrating climate in their investment decision-making through implementing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). TCFD implementation is a key step for companies wanting to assess and managed their climate-related risks and opportunities. 

The toolkit provides tailored step-by-step guidance and practical tools for the full spectrum of fund managers in developing markets, regardless of where they are on their journey in addressing climate change. It is available here. 

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