Prosus and South Pole sign new climate deal

Prosus and South Pole sign deal on innovative new climate finance instruments with high social impact

  • The deal paves the way for corporate action and climate finance to make high social impact renewable energy projects possible for communities with limited energy access
  • Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) use climate finance to accelerate the energy transition, increase local clean electricity supply, boost transparency, and transform corporate green energy procurement

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 9 November 2022 - With growing calls for greater corporate climate action at COP27, global technology investor Prosus and leading climate solutions provider South Pole have come together to use the new D-REC market instrument to deliver distributed renewable energy projects. They will focus on high social impact projects in India and South Africa.

Prosus has committed to buying 3GWh of D-RECs from South Pole, between 2022 and 2025, delivering 1GWh per year. This transaction - one of the first of its kind - will provide much-needed capital to help establish transformative renewable energy projects, which displace carbon-intensive energy and deliver access to energy to rural communities. The deal was announced on Finance Day at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Prajna Khanna, Global Head of Sustainability at Naspers and Prosus, said:  

“D-RECs offer an innovative and verifiable platform to accelerate affordable and clean energy access for underserved communities. With Prosus’s portfolio of companies in high-growth markets, our multi-year partnership with the D-REC Initiative shows our commitment to transition to a greener economy that is inclusive, leaving no one behind.”

D-RECs extend the impact of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) - a widely used market instrument - to smaller projects with limited connection to the grid and/or cannot easily access financing. Renewable energy solutions made viable by D-RECs, like solar mini-grids, deliver clean energy to irrigation systems, health care facilities, schools, and homes. By improving critical services for communities, the tremendous development potential of D-RECs contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals on health, food security, education and helping to fight climate change.

By purchasing D-RECs, Prosus is providing climate finance for renewable energy projects that displace polluting off-grid energy generation, such as diesel generators and energy from some of the most carbon-intensive grids in the world. The open technology ledger that the D-REC Initiative has developed gives buyers like Prosus confidence in the origination of their certificates, producing rigorous metrics for corporate reporting against renewable energy procurement targets.

Gian Autenrieth, Renewable Energy Platforms Manager at South Pole and D-REC Initiative co-lead, said:

“D-RECs are about extending affordable access to renewable energy to those lacking it. It provides a tool for climate leaders to drive verifiable impact in emissions reductions and sustainable development. Prosus is demonstrating how the inclusion of D-RECs in their renewable energy strategy has catalysed much-needed capital to deploy new distributed renewable energy assets.”

“At COP27, we’re witnessing a real focus on the ‘just transition’. For the D-REC Initiative, this means connecting global businesses, renewable energy project developers and communities in emerging markets using D-RECs to supercharge investments in renewable energy. D-RECs allow companies like Prosus to rise above the flurry of commitments to deliver real climate and social impact by extending their renewable energy procurement to those who need it most.”

The scale of the energy access challenge is immense: 759 million people are still without access to electricity across the world, and over US$500 billion is required annually until 2040 to meet growing electricity demand. But risks in traditional renewable energy financing, a perceived lack of transparency and the ability to prove impact have held back the REC market. By leveraging corporate investments, D-RECs overcome risk barriers inherent in traditional renewable energy financing, amongst other benefits, including:

  • New sources of revenue and improved unit economics for DRE projects
  • Improved economics for Results Based Financing (RBF) programmes
  • New mechanisms for corporates to achieve Scope 2 and 3 targets and secure verifiable impacts from ESG investments
  • New ways to measure and monetise other environmental and social benefits, such as carbon, energy access, and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Accelerated deployment of DRE in emerging markets

- Ends-

About D-REC:

D-REC is a new type of energy attribute certificate that bridges corporate sustainable finance from multinationals to the distributed renewable energy sector in emerging markets. This catalyses new capital to provide access to affordable clean energy (SDG7).  By focusing on distributed renewable energy projects in communities with energy poverty, D-RECs go further than traditional renewable energy certificates, as they provide a direct link to positive social development and clean energy additionality.

The D-REC Initiative is led by South Pole and powertrust, with support from Shell Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, Signify Foundation, GIZ-develoPPP, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), International Finance Corporation (IFC), British International Investment (BII), USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). D-REC will become a fully independent not-for-profit entity in 2023.

About South Pole

South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation, is today the world's leading climate solutions provider and carbon project developer. Since its creation in 2006, it has developed nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries to reduce over one gigaton of CO2  emissions and provide social benefits to less privileged communities particularly vulnerable to climate change. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, and waste management to energy efficiency and decentralised renewable energy.

South Pole also advises thousands of leading companies on their sustainability journeys to achieve net-zero emissions. With its global Climate Solutions platform, South Pole develops and implements comprehensive strategies that turn climate action into long-term business opportunities for companies, governments and organisations worldwide. South Pole is committed to becoming a B Corp globally across all of its local entities, building on its high B Corp score and existing B Corp certification in Germany, Australia, and the U.S.

For more information, visit www.southpole.com.


About Prosus:

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors in markets including India and Brazil. Through its ventures team, Prosus invests in areas including health, logistics, blockchain, and social commerce. Prosus actively seeks new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve people’s everyday lives.

Every day, billions of customers use the products and services of companies that Prosus has invested in, acquired or built, including 99minutos,  Airmeet, Aruna, AutoTrader, Autovit.ro, Azos, BandLab, Bibit, Bilt, Biome Makers, Borneo, Brainly, BUX, BYJU'S, Bykea, Captain Fresh, Codecademy, Collective Benefits, Creditas, DappRadar, DeHaat, Detect Technologies, dott, EduMe, ElasticRun, eMAG, Endowus, Eruditus, EVERY, Facily, Flink, Foodics, Good Glamm Group, GoodHabitz, GoStudent, Honor, iFood, Imovirtual, IndiGG, Klar, Kovi, LazyPay, letgo, Luno, Mensa Brands, Meesho, merXu, Movile, Oda, OLX, Otodom, OTOMOTO, Oxford Ionics, PaySense, PayU, Pharmeasy, Platzi, Property24, Quick Ride, Red Dot Payment, Republic, Sharebite, Shipper, ShopUp, SoloLearn, SpotDraft, Stack Overflow, Standvirtual, Superside, Swiggy, Thndr, Tonik, Ula, Urban Company, Vegrow, Virgio, watchTowr, and Wayflyer.

Hundreds of millions of people have made the platforms of Prosus’s associates a part of their daily lives. For listed companies where we have an interest, please see: Tencent, Delivery Hero, Remitly, Trip.com, Udemy, Skillsoft, and SimilarWeb.

Today, Prosus companies and associates help improve the lives of more than two billion people around the world.

Prosus has a primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam (AEX:PRX) and secondary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (XJSE:PRX) and a2X Markets (PRX.AJ). Prosus is majority-owned by Naspers.

For more information, please visit www.prosus.com.

About Prosus

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

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