UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


UNECE Announces EUR 329 million SwissRe European Clean Energy Investment Fund

Geneva, 24 April 2007 -- One of the largest funds for financing environmentally sound energy technology in Europe has been successfully raised by SwissRe under a mandate of the UNECE Energy Efficiency 21 Project. The EUR 329 million Fund is to provide capital for clean energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Central, Eastern and Western Europe. It will finance energy efficiency and renewable energy investment projects that reduce CO 2 emissions and generate carbon credits or tradable certificates.

The Energy Efficiency 21 Project promotes the formation of an energy efficiency market in Eastern Europe so that cost-effective investments can provide a self-financing method of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The market for projects with a payback period of less than five years is estimated to be between EUR 5 and 10 billion. But the capital investment requirements needed to tap this potential are so large that only commercial secto r finance on a significant scale can actually deliver meaningful results.

The SwissRe European Clean Energy Fund offers attractive returns to institutional investors in Europe, Canada and the United States for financing energy efficiency, wind, solar, hydroelectric, geo-thermal projects while providing carbon market services. Mr. Marek Belka, Executive Secretary of the UNECE said, “The SwissRe European Clean Energy Fund was mandated by the Energy Efficiency 21 Project to establish a dedicated financial instrument for the participation of public and private sector investors on a much larger scale than previously possible”. As an accredited investment vehicle within the UNECE Project, the Fund will have the opportunity to participate in special project financing initiatives. The Fund will be entitled to receive grants for assistance on financing energy efficiency investment project proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emission submitted to the Fund managers from Eastern European countries.

The European Clean Energy Fund will be presented to the 60 th anniversary session of the Economic Commission for Europe by Mr. Walter Blasberg, Managing Director, Conning and Company, SwissRe Group on Friday 27 April in Salle XIX of the Palais des Nations. The audio-visual presentation will be made under Commission agenda item 8(a) Sustainable Energy Policies: the Key to Energy Security. Mr. Blasberg and senior representatives of the UNECE secretariat will be available for further information and to answer questions about the Fund on Friday 27 April at 12:30 in Salle X of the Palais des Nations.

For further information on the Energy Efficiency 21 Project please contact:

Gianluca Sambucini
Energy Efficiency 21 Project
Sustainable Energy Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations, Bureau 462
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 1175
Telefax: +41 (0)22 917 0178
E-mail: gianluca.sambucini@unece.org

Website: http://www.unece.org/ie/ and http://www.ee-21.net

Ref: ECE/SED/07/P01