New Zealand will work with investment giant BlackRock in a bid to become the world’s first 100% renewable-powered nation, said the country’s Prime Minister.

New Zealand and BlackRock announced the launch a NZ$2bn ($1.2bn) climate infrastructure investment fund designed to speed up deployment in sectors such as wind, solar, green hydrogen and energy storage.

The Oceanic country already had an 80%-plus share of green power by 2021 thanks to its major hydropower and geothermal resources, according to data from the International Energy Agency, which added that New Zealand faced a costly challenge to achieve the last 2-5% on the road to it goal of an all-renewable system by 2030.

The so-called ‘New Zealand Net Zero Fund’ will “look to crowd in investment from Crown companies and entities, including superannuation funds, and private sector funds to accelerate New Zealand’s transition to 100% renewable electricity”, said the government.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said of the BlackRock link-up: “I’m absolutely stoked about what this means for Kiwi ingenuity in renewable energy; it shows that our ambitious climate targets have the world’s attention, and that they are good for the climate, good for the economy, and will help create highly skilled jobs.

“Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods were reminders we must speed up our own climate action, and the fund will super charge investments in clean technology that might otherwise not have happened.”

Charlie Reid, Asia Pacific co-head of climate infrastructure, BlackRock, added: “New Zealand is one of the global leaders in climate finance and renewable energy. This initiative offers institutional investors the opportunity to participate directly in New Zealand’s climate finance ecosystem.”

New Zealand is already earmarked for significant offshore wind growth, with the likes of BlueFloat Energy, CIP and Oceanex eying gigascale floating development in its seas.