The green finance transition to a clean, low carbon and resilient economy is a multi-billion pound investment opportunity and we want businesses to take full advantage of it. The United Kingdom has long been regarded as a leading global financial centre, with a world leading stock market featuring nearly 80 green bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Since setting up the Green Finance Taskforce, the government has been taking concrete steps to strengthen our green finance capability. The government and City of London will co-fund a new Green Finance Institute that will act as the focal point for future UK green finance activity.
The government has also announced changes to pensions regulations so that trustees will have to set out how they consider the financial risks and opportunities arising from climate change.
Raising awareness and increasing engagement in Green Finance
As part of Green GB Week there will be a dedicated Green Finance events programme with activities spread across the week. The aim of these events is to raise awareness of the green finance agenda and the role of financial services in unlocking investment into environmentally and socially-beneficial technologies and infrastructure in the UK and internationally.
The official Green Finance Day agenda includes:
- a Market Opening at the London Stock Exchange with a speech from John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
- a full day programme at the Tate Modern coordinated by HSBC, including sessions on women in sustainable finance, greening your pension fund, integrating climate risk into investment decisions and building capacity in emerging markets
- a Climate Resilience Summit led by Willis Towers Watson
The Financial Conduct Authority will lead a half day workshop on supporting green finance innovation, and BNP Paribas will host a careers event to highlight different finance career opportunities to students interested in sustainability.
Catalysing investment in Clean Tech
The government will be investing up to £20 million alongside at least £20 million from private investors in a new venture capital fund called the Clean Growth Fund. It is only through innovation, nurturing better products, processes and systems that we will see the cost of clean technologies come down. This new fund will aim to catalyse the market and leverage private sector funding to ensure these innovative clean technologies can bridge the valley of death and achieve impact at scale. On 17 October, we published a Request for Proposals for fund managers.
Boosting investment in green infrastructure
BEIS is working with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to explore how best government could produce meaningful data setting out which infrastructure projects can be considered ‘green’. This would increase transparency, illustrating the government’s commitment to leading by example in tackling climate change, and showcasing the opportunities available to investors looking to place funds in green projects.
The government will host a national conference followed by at least 5 regional workshops – bringing together local authorities, cities, investors and civil society to help build partnerships to start delivering the pipeline of projects currently being developed at local level. This will help connect investors and the wider finance sector to local projects, and increase the role that regions and local players can have to boost the development of green infrastructure. The government will be working in partnership with UK100, Leeds City Council and more to set up this ambitious programme of work, which will be delivered throughout 2019.
Supporting consistency and comparability in the sector
The British Standards Institution will be developing two new United Kingdom-led, internationally relevant, PAS documents in Sustainable Finance to increase confidence in, and understanding of, sustainable investments and activities. A new Strategic Advisory Group chaired by Peter Young, Trustee and Chair of the Green Purposes Company, has been established to provide strategic direction for BSI’s wider Sustainable Finance Standardisation Programme. This work was commissioned by ministers in the Clean Growth Strategy and is being co-funded with the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative.
BSI will also be leading a new International Organisation for Standardisation Technical Committee to develop international standards on Sustainable Finance, informed by the United Kingdom-led PAS work. This demonstrates the prominence of United Kingdom thought leadership globally, and will contribute to meeting the objective we set out in the Industrial Strategy to become the standard-setters in green finance.
Global leadership and building capacity
Leadership on green finance is further demonstrated by the new PACT, a £60 million BEIS-run technical assistance programme to share United Kingdom skills with partners around the world. The first PACT projects strengthen collaboration between the United Kingdom and China on green finance, with a focus on harmonised standards for green bonds, analysis of green asset performance, advice on TCFD implementation and supporting the set-up of a new China Green Finance Centre.