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Citigroup, Blackrock Join U.K. in Talks on Climate Aid

U.K. Energy Minister Greg Barker met with executives from Citigroup Inc. and Blackrock Inc. to discuss ways to boost international climate aid to the $100 billion developed nations have pledged to provide by 2020.

“This was a free-flowing discussion among investment professionals at the sharp end of the clean energy revolution who were discussing the barriers challenges in deploying clean energy globally, especially in developing economies,” Barker said today in a phone interview from Abu Dhabi after presiding over the talks alongside an envoy from the United Arab Emirates.

The informal discussions intend to help policymakers put in place the measures needed to encourage investors to plow money into carbon reductions in developing nations. The $100 billion aid pledge includes government and private money. It’s a cornerstone of international efforts to fight climate change.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the chief executive of the Masdar low-carbon city and the U.A.E.’s special envoy for energy and climate change, joined the talks.

Barker said one of the barriers identified is the need to bundle small projects together into a package sizable enough -- typically hundreds of millions of dollars -- to attract capital from the biggest investors. Another was the need for insurance products, possibly backed by governments, to protect against the political risk of investing in developing nations.

Barker said more informal meetings that bring in the insurance industry will be held sometime in the future. The goal is to broaden the U.K.’s Capital Markets Climate Initiative into a global discussion between banks, investors and government officials in the U.K. that aims to mobilize large-scale finance for low-carbon development, he said.

The Abu Dhabi meeting also was attended by representatives of Masdar, the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the European Investment Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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