OPIC Offers $300M in Financing to Spur Eco-Friendly Investment in Emerging Markets

The OPIC offer was made at the United Nations Conference on Climate change in Cancun, Mexico.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will provide at least $300 million in financing for new private equity investment funds that could ultimately invest more than $1 billion in renewable resources projects in emerging markets, according to the corporation’s president and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield.

OPIC’s mission is to mobilize the U.S. private sector to invest overseas by fostering economic development in new and emerging markets, complementing the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supporting U.S. foreign policy.

The mobilization of these funds, which was announced at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, represents one of the U.S. government’s largest initiatives to support the international effort to mitigate climate change.

"When President Obama and global leaders negotiated the Copenhagen Accord in December 2009, they included a financial commitment to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. OPIC-supported investment funds represent an important and innovative step toward the realization of that goal," Littlefield said.

OPIC will issue a "Global Renewable Resources Call for Proposals" for private fund managers investing in a wide variety of businesses promoting renewable energy and the sustainable utilization of natural resources such as energy, water, and land.

Specifically, the funds will accelerate investment in renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydro, tidal, geothermal power as well as waste and biomass. Investments in agriculture, land, and water may include efficient irrigation, cold storage, transportation, water treatment, sustainable forestry, natural resource preservation, and forest rehabilitation. OPIC will also place particular emphasis on the efficient utilization of natural resources via investments in energy-efficiency products, systems and equipment, emissions control, and waste management.

The call for proposals will open for submissions December 15 and remain open until mid-February.