£10bn deals pledged ahead of UK green investor summit

UK ministers will on Tuesday hail almost £10bn of investment promised by companies such as Iberdrola and Prologis as the start of global partnerships to support “green growth” in the British economy.

The series of investments in UK infrastructure, technology and energy have been pledged to coincide with a government-sponsored green summit that will bring together more than 200 of the world’s financiers and executives.

Iberdrola has committed £6bn via its UK subsidiary ScottishPower for an offshore wind development off the coast of East Anglia. This investment, which would create 7,000 jobs but has been reported before, is also subject to planning consent and a government subsidy contract.

Iberdrola’s chair Ignacio Galán said it would be a “significant step” to achieving enough offshore wind to power every UK home by 2030.

Other announcements include £1.5bn promised by developer Prologis over the next three years in warehouses, which it says will support around 14,000 new jobs across London, the south-east and Midlands.

Recycling and renewable energy group Viridor said that it planned to invest up to £1bn in decarbonisation technology across five UK sites, creating 1,180 jobs, in its aim to become the first net zero waste company by 2030.

Other deals include a £220m fundraising by peer-to-peer lending firm Zopa, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Budweiser and Protium, the energy services company, will spend more than £100m to deploy green hydrogen at the Magor brewery in South Wales. Grocery delivery service Getir also said that it plans to invest £100m to expand across the UK.

The announcements coincide with a summit in London’s science museum, which will be part-hosted by prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak. This will be followed by a reception with the Queen and other members of the royal family at Windsor Castle, in an attempt to entice more investors to commit money to the UK.

The UK government wants to use overseas investment as a means to fuel the economic recovery, support infrastructure projects and develop green-focused technologies.

More than 100 meetings have been organised between investors and ministers at the event, according to a person familiar with the arrangements. Those attending include former Microsoft boss Bill Gates, who will have a televised conversation with Johnson on Tuesday morning.

Other attendees include BlackRock boss Larry Fink and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, while executives are also coming from multinationals such as Amazon, Heinz and Disney.

Most of the investors are from overseas, with about a third from the US. However, there are only a “few” guests from China, according to a person familiar with the matter, and no deals involving Chinese companies.

EDP, the Portuguese energy company, will also announce that it will invest up to £13bn by 2030, including in onshore wind and solar and offshore wind projects such as Moray West, Moray East and ScotWind. But £10bn will be dependent on winning offshore leasing rounds in Scottish waters.

Separately, the Treasury announced on Monday that certain companies would need to publish climate “transition plans” detailing how they intended to achieve net zero commitments.

UK-listed and-registered companies would have to outline plans by the middle of the decade that aligned with the government’s decarbonisation goal, or explain why they had not done so.

Under the new reporting regime, companies will also have to explain how their businesses impact the environment, going beyond existing requirements under the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to detail climate-related risks.

Meanwhile, any sustainability claims made by asset managers, owners and investment products will have to be substantiated in a clear and comparable way.

Additional reporting by Nathalie Thomas

Climate Capital

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