UK launches plan to invest in growth of green finance

UK launches plan to invest in growth of green finance

This past week, new measures to accelerate investment in clean energy were announced by Climate Change Minister Clair Perry at the opening ceremony of Climate Week in New York. Although Britain’s financial sector is already a world-leader in green finance, these measures will overall ensure London remains the world’s leading global financial centre and assist in meeting the necessary estimated goal of $13.5 trillion in investments by the year 2030 to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. These measures are also said to continue to boost the UK GDP and decreasing carbon emissions, as proven between 1990 and 2016 where the UK GDP grew 67% and carbon emissions fell 42%.

The measures proposed include:

  • The establishment of a taskforce, by the government, of senior financial experts to oversee the acceleration of growth in green finance and the UK’s low carbon economy
  • The introduction of the world’s first green financial management standards with the British Standards Institute
  • The full transition to a low carbon economy, providing Britain a multi-pound investment opportunity, creating high-value jobs and boosting exports

So far, the Green Finance Taskforce, chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, former Lord Mayor of London, has announced they will be assembling a top team of financial experts, including leading figures from Aviva, Barclays, HSBC, Legal & General and the Bank of England, as well as academics and sustainability experts. Setting a six-month goal to complete the transition to a low carbon economy, the Taskforce will be examining a range of possibilities, from making infrastructure investment more sustainable to scaling-up green mortgages.

Working closely with the industry, the Government has also announced its partnership with the Green Finance Initiative and the British Standards Institute in the creation of a new set of voluntary green and sustainable finance management standards. By the first half of 2018, the goal is for the British Standards Institute to have completed the necessary standards scoping exercises and have the first standard in production.

Lastly, already backed by over 100 businesses worldwide, with a market capitalization of more than $3 trillion, the government has endorsed the published recommendations by the Financial Stability Board’s ‘Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures,’ to encourage all listed companies to implement this new climate-related framework.

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