Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO Oliver Yates. Photo: Ben Rushton
THE government's new head of its $10 billion green investment bank, Oliver Yates, brings a list of credits to the role, including two decades in banking and the funding of a documentary tracing the decline of Western civilisation.
Mr Yates starts as the first chief executive officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) today.
His responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the fund, which aims to channel its own and private funds into projects and technologies involving renewable energy, low-emissions and energy efficiency projects.
He will also work with the CEFC's board to hire other senior executives, the fund said in a statement.
The opposition finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, called the corporation ''a giant slush fund'', and earlier this year vowed that a Coalition government would refuse to guarantee its debt.
Formerly head of climate change services at Macquarie Group, Mr Yates helped lead the bank's investments in carbon credits and renewable energy businesses ranging from biofuels to solar power and wind power.
Mr Yates's global experience also extends to corporate advisory, debt and equity raisings and project finance.
One interesting career diversion involves films. Mr Yates provided most of the funding of a 2011 documentary, Decadence: Decline of the Western World.
Five years in the making, the film was produced by former SBS TV presenter Pria Viswalingam.
It argues that the West peaked in 1969, not long after the notorious My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, and has been on the decline ever since.
Modelling for the World Wildlife Fund and the Australian Solar Council that was revealed early this month found that the CEFC's investment war chest would not generate additional investment in Australia's renewable energy by 2020 unless the government lifted its existing renewable energy target of 20 per cent by then.
The target is under review, with the Climate Change Authority scheduled to deliver its final recommendation by the end of the year.
The CEFC is intended to operate and invest independently of the government.