Credit Suisse, AIL Structured Finance and South Pole Carbon Asset Management have entered into an agreement to launch a carbon investment vehicle, which intends to provide equity and mezzanine capital to Gold Standard certified and other high quality emission reduction projects.
The underlying assets will be energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure projects, which will generate carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. The majority of the fund will be invested in Gold Standard certified projects. High quality energy infrastructure projects can offer particularly attractive investment opportunities as Gold Standard carbon credits are fetching premium prices while at the same time fostering sustainable projects in developing countries.
The Gold Standard is a Swiss-based non-profit foundation. It offers a quality label to CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) / JI (Joint Implementation) and voluntary offset projects. Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with sustainable development benefits are eligible. The Gold Standard is endorsed by over 49 non-governmental organizations worldwide and was initiated by WWF, SSN and Helio International.
Yves Robert-Charrue, Head of Single Manager Alternative Investment business at Credit Suisse, said "We are very excited about this partnership with AIL and South Pole which will allow us to offer our clients a unique and attractive investment opportunity in the fast growing carbon market, generating enhanced returns from green infrastructure projects."
Ralph Kretschmer, Co-Head of the Environmental Business Group at Credit Suisse, added "This is another great example of a jointly developed, innovative and high quality investment product which illustrates the potential and attractiveness of investments in the area of environmental finance."
Beat Imwinkelried, Partner at AIL Structured Finance, explained "By combining the competencies of the three partner firms -- AIL Structured Finance, South Pole and Credit Suisse -- we bring a unique set of knowledge to the table which is unrivalled in the carbon space."
Christoph Grobbel, Managing Partner at South Pole Carbon Asset Management, stated "After generating and selling the first ever issued Gold Standard CERs (Certified Emission Reductions), we now look forward to pushing the Gold Standard business to the next level."
The new investment product is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2008.
Source: Credit Suisse