Temasek pledges $3.6 B for climate-focused investment platform

(Reuters) - Singapore's Temasek Holdings has committed an initial S$5 B ($3.6 B) to launch its GenZero investment platform aimed at accelerating decarbonization, marking one of the largest such outlays by a state investor.

GenZero will invest globally across three focus areas, climate-driven technologies, solutions for protecting natural ecosystems and services to reduce carbon emission, Temasek said in a statement on Monday.

"GenZero will not only support Temasek's efforts as we strive towards halving our portfolio's net emissions by 2030 and working towards a net-zero portfolio by 2050, but also those of the wider ecosystem," Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at Temasek International, said in the statement.

Ranked among the world's biggest investors with a portfolio value of S$381 B in the year ended March 2021, Temasek is a large investor in Singapore Airlines, bank DBS Group and conglomerate Keppel Corp.

GenZero has already invested in about half a dozen companies over the past year.

These include Newlight, a United States-based manufacturer of biomaterial produced from methane to displace plastics, and U.S. start-up Perennial, which uses artificial intelligence and remote sensing to detect the presence of carbon on agricultural land.

GenZero is also working with Decarbonization Partners, a Temasek-BlackRock partnership that is launching funds focused on reducing carbon emissions.

"Recognizing the importance of immediate action, we will focus on investment opportunities that can deliver positive climate impact by 2030 while ensuring sustainable financial returns," said GenZero's CEO designate Frederick Teo, currently a managing director at Temasek International's sustainable solutions team. 

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Goodman)

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