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Temasek launches decarbonization investment platform
GenZero will focus on tech and nature-based solutions, carbon ecosystem enablers
Patricia Chiu 17 Jun 2022

Singaporean state-run investment company Temasek has launched GenZero, a wholly-owned subsidiary and investment platform company that will be dedicated to accelerating decarbonization globally.

GenZero, Temasek says, will invest in three focus areas, specifically, technology-based solutions that deliver: deep decarbonization impact through climate-driven technologies; nature-based solutions that help protect and restore natural ecosystems to generate climate impact while benefiting local communities and biodiversity; and carbon ecosystem enablers, such as companies and solutions that support the development of an effective, efficient and credible carbon ecosystem.

The establishment of GenZero expands Temasek’s focus on deploying capital to catalyze solutions for a better world, states Steve Howard, Temasek International’s chief sustainability officer. “GenZero will not only support Temasek’s efforts as we strive towards halving our portfolio’s net emissions by 2030 and working towards a net-zero portfolio by 2050, but also those of the wider ecosystem,” Howard adds.

Temasek hopes that GenZero’s ability to deploy long-term and flexible capital will trigger real world decarbonization solutions. It says GenZero will invest in opportunities ranging from early-stage companies and solutions that require patient capital to commercialize and grow, to more mature ones that are ready to scale.

The state-backed investor has poured S$5 billion (US$3.6 billion) to start the GenZero project and says it has invested in several companies already, including Newlight, a US-based manufacturer of biomaterial produced from methane to displace plastics.

GenZero has also entered into a joint investment scheme with C-Quest Capital, funding the deployment of clean, energy efficient cookstoves to rural households in Southeast Asia to reduce carbon emissions.

Other projects that GenZero has invested in include Decarbonization Partners, a Temasek-BlackRock partnership that is working to launch a series of funds that focus on late-stage venture capital and early growth private equity decarbonization solutions investments.

GenZero has also partnered with the Brookfield Global Transition Fund, which aims to accelerate the global transition to a net-zero carbon economy by targeting investment opportunities relating to reducing emissions and energy consumption, as well as increasing low-carbon energy capacity and supporting sustainable solutions.

Frederick Teo, Temasek International’s managing director of sustainable solutions, has been tapped to lead GenZero as CEO. Teo has worked at Temasek for nearly 12 years in leadership positions across a broad range of roles, such as sustainability, portfolio management, business continuity and strategic stakeholder engagement. Teo will fully transition to his role at GenZero on July 1 2022, Temasek says.

GenZero, Teo points out, will focus on investment opportunities that can deliver positive climate impact by 2030, while still ensuring sustainable financial returns. “Besides deploying capital, we will work with our investee companies to address operational challenges and accelerate the deployment of their solutions to achieve our shared net-zero target,” he adds.

The platform’s other partners and investees include the Global EverGreening Alliance, the New Forests Tropical Asia Forest Fund 2, global climate solutions firm South Pole, global carbon marketplace and exchange Climate Impact X, and Perennial, a US-based early-stage start-up using artificial intelligence and remote sensing to accurately quantify soil organic carbon sequestration on agricultural lands.

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