Gridworks, the company set up to develop and invest in electricity networks across Africa, has today published its climate change policy. The new policy will help shape Gridworks’ investment decisions as it builds a portfolio with net zero emissions by 2050.
Gridworks is dedicated to developing and investing in transmission, distribution and off-grid electricity infrastructure in Africa. Capitalised by CDC Group, the UK Government’s development finance institution, Gridworks intends to invest over $300m of long-term capital in African electricity infrastructure.
The new Climate Change policy (found here) aligns to the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change but also places a special focus on supporting economic transformation and poverty reduction in a socially just way. The strategy commits Gridworks to:
- Help the companies it supports reduce emissions and adapt to become more resilient to climate shocks
- Track a number of relevant metrics including: Reductions in emissions; Greenhouse gas intensity of the grid to understand how much investment has enabled an increase in renewables generation; Emissions from energy generation assets when Gridworks has invested in an integrated utility; and Total carbon emissions across the portfolio
- Organise its climate change approach in line with the pillars of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures the main international framework for integrating climate change opportunities and risks into the management systems of financial institutions and businesses
- Place climate change oversight as the responsibility of the Chief Executive (and the Board) and position climate change as an important context for development of its annual business plan and strategy.
A key part of Gridworks’ mandate is investing in electricity utilities; providing capital and management expertise to improve long term efficiency and capacity. When investing in or operating any utility, Gridworks will play a vital role in delivering carbon emissions reductions by cutting technical and commercial losses and the wastage that would otherwise have resulted and enabling a greater proportion of renewables to be added to the grid. When Gridworks looks to invest in integrated utilities it will not support any business deemed to be misaligned with the Paris Agreement.
Gridworks’ investments in distribution through mini-grids will enable smaller-scale renewable solutions, while also reaching people who may not have had access to energy before. And its investments in commercial and industrial solutions will result in greater use of solar power and provide more reliable, and often less costly, sources of power for businesses.
Welcoming the launch of the new policy, Gridworks’ CEO, Simon Hodson said:
“One of the key challenges facing an organisation like Gridworks is how do we support African countries as they build the foundations for net zero carbon emissions, while also delivering economic growth and higher living standards for their people.
“Our new Climate Change Policy sets out how these priorities will shape our investment decisions we make moving forward. Climate change is the biggest global challenge facing us and has the worst effects on those very countries in Africa that have done the least to cause it. We’re committed to helping the countries we invest in grow in a clean, just and resilient way.”
Alice Chapple, Gridworks’ Development Impact Adviser added:
“Without urgent global action on climate change, the reductions in poverty that we have seen in the last thirty years will be reversed. At the same time, progress in the poorest countries depends fundamentally on more efficient and available electricity. Gridworks’ Climate Change policy guides us as we address this dual challenge.”
For more details and to learn more about Gridworks please contact:
Rhyddid Carter, Communications Adviser: [email protected] +44 7543 500 456