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  Business Times 8 Nov 007
Climate Change plans 'green buildings' fund

It will start meeting investors in Q12008 to raise 'hundreds of millions' of dollars

(SINGAPORE) Climate Change Capital, a London-based fund manager and adviser on global warming, plans to start a fund to invest in properties that use energy more efficiently.

Climate Change, which manages about US$1.6 billion, will start meeting investors in the first quarter of 2008 and aims to raise 'hundreds of millions', said James Cameron, vice- chairman. So-called green buildings cut energy usage and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

'We will build a portfolio of properties, either retrofitted or improved, and buildings built from scratch or those that already meet the high standards that we would like to own a piece of,' Mr Cameron said in an interview in Singapore yesterday. 'It is not yet proven but perhaps we will get more value because it's green.'

Scientists say carbon dioxide is one of the main emissions causing temperatures to rise, which may lead to potentially irreversible climate shifts and rising sea levels that would threaten world economies, ecosystems and human health.

The Kyoto Protocol binds 35 industrialised nations to curb carbon emissions by 5.2 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012. Developing nations including China and India are not required to cut emissions.

The United Nations' climate change body will host its annual meeting in Bali next month to discuss a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The European Union (EU) introduced 'The Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings' in January 2003, to increase awareness of energy use in buildings and result in a substantial increase in investments in energy efficiency measures, according to Frost & Sullivan, a research company.

European countries wasted at least 20 per cent of their energy due to inefficiency in 2006 and applying more stringent standards to new buildings and renovations will enable the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and realise an energy-saving potential of more than 20 per cent by 2020, Frost & Sullivan said.

'The case is not proven that we will get a premium at all, but what we are sure about is that the changes that are taking place in Europe will stratify the market,' Mr Cameron said. 'There will be winners and losers and there will be value shift in the property sector and we want to be on the right side of that value shift.' - Bloomberg

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