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Temasek commits $3.6bn to carbon removal tech and carbon credit creation

GenZero, Temasek’s latest decarbonization strategy, far outsizes Temasek’s landmark impact investing partnerships with BlackRock, Brookfield and Leapfrog.

Singapore’s state-backed investor Temasek Holdings has committed S$5 billion ($3.6 billion; €3.4 billion) to carbon removal and disruptive low-carbon technologies, invested via wholly-owned investment company GenZero.

GenZero has a mandate to invest “long-term and flexible capital” in venture-stage and growth-stage companies and third-party funds, according to a press release from Temasek. GenZero will invest along three themes: technology-based carbon solutions for carbon reduction and removal, such as low-carbon materials, carbon capture and biofuels; nature-based solutions, such as protecting and restoring forests and land; and developing the carbon credit market.

So far, GenZero has invested in New Forests’ second Tropical Asia Forest Fund and made direct investments into climate consultancy South Pole, soil carbon measurement software Perennial (formerly Cloud Agronomics) and methane-based biomaterial producer Newlight.

According to the press release, GenZero is also “working with” the Temasek/BlackRock platform Decarbonization Partners and Brookfield’s Global Transition fund, in which Temasek is a limited partner.

Other recent climate investments by Temasek include:

  • Low-carbon chemical producer Solugen in 2021
  • Plant-based meat company v2Food’s Series B funding round in 2020
  • Alternative proteins company Impossible Foods’ 2019 and 2020 funding rounds
  • Bits x Bites’ 2020-vintage second Agrifood Tech Fund
  • Emerald Technology Ventures’ 2020-vintage Water Impact Fund
  • Trendlines Group’s 2019-vintage Agrifood Fund

It is not clear whether any of these investments are part of Temasek’s $3.6 billion GenZero commitment or separate investments. Temasek was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Temasek’s managing director of sustainable solutions Frederick Teo has been appointed chief executive of GenZero. The company’s board of directors is chaired by Sunny Verghese, co-founder and chief executive of Singapore-listed food company Olam. Also on the board are Temasek’s chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard; Alan Thompson, an operating partner at Temasek; Goh Swee Chen, president of Singapore’s Global Compact Network Singapore; and Ruth Nussbaum, co-founder of forest conservation non-profit Proferest.