Canadian firm Criterion Investments has launched a global fund that will buy stakes in firms active in hydro power and other renewable energies.

Criterion said the strategic focus of the fund is to hold equity stakes in companies involves in developing clean energy as well as those in the supply chain. The fund will also take positions in the energy efficiency sector, it added.

The fund – the Criterion Global Clean Energy Fund – is advised by Geneva-based Pictet Asset Management, the institutional investment arm of private bank Pictet & Cie.

The proposed initial size of the fund was not disclosed. Criterion did state, however, that it was the only fund of its type in Canada. It added that the fund would offer individual investors – the threshold for participation being Can$500 (US$475) – both currency hedged and unhedged units for purchase in the diversified low carbon portfolio.

In a statement, Criterion president Ian McPherson, said: ‘Investors now have the opportunity to capitalise on the global wake-up call to reduce carbon emissions.’

Criterion is an affiliate of Canadian investment firm VenGrowth Asset Management.