Furniture giant Ikea is setting up a fund to support sustainable energy projects in developing countries. The new fund will, in cooperation with the Rockefeller Foundation, receive an initial capital of one billion dollars.
Global fight against climate change
The two founders together are putting more than 800 million euro in the fund, and they hope to raise another tenfold from international development organisations. The money will finance solar energy projects in low-income countries. The aim is to involve these countries in the fight against climate change.
The initiators want to expand the whole project on a global scale. "We are going to focus on countries in Southeast Asia, East Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America", a spokesperson for the Ikea Foundation said. Beneficiaries will be countries such as Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda - "but also Haiti, Colombia and Brazil."
The aim is also to attract commercial investors in due course, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant writes. After all, a new market arises around a new energy network, offering opportunities for commercial parties. For example, they could supply equipment to generate energy. "A party that has put a billion dollars of venture capital on the table in advance has the potential to unlock tens of billions of dollars more", Rajiv Shah, CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation, said.
The Ikea Foundation was established by Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the Swedish furniture giant. The philanthropic organisation supports projects to combat poverty and climate change and is funded from Ikea's profits. The Rockefeller Foundation was created from the estate of John D. Rockefeller, the American oil magnate who lived from 1839 to 1937.