UK: Green Finance Taskforce calls for ‘one-stop-shop’ body

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The Green Finance Taskforce has published a report ‘Accelerating Green Finance’ which calls on the government to consolidate the UK’s position as a leading hub for green finance.

In September 2017, the UK government asked finance expert and former Lord Mayor of the City of London Sir Roger Gifford to chair an independent taskforce to look at how the UK could seize the economic opportunity offered by green finance, through analysis of what systems and structures are needed to make it a reality.

The report suggests that the creation of a new Green Finance Institute will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all work relating to the sector – from international engagement to green fintech, climate and data science.

It also recommends that the UK government should issue a green sovereign bond to help fund a number of national green projects, including the UK’s flood defense and resilience.

The Taskforce has worked with over 140 organizations across the finance and energy sector to provide a number of recommendations to government about policy changes needed to make green finance an integral part of the UK’s financial system.

These include boosting investment into innovative clean technologies, driving demand and supply for green lending products, setting up Clean Growth Regeneration Zones, building a green and resilient infrastructure pipeline and the Issuance of a sovereign green bond – debt security issued by a national government.

Sir Roger Gifford, Green Finance Initiative Chairman, said: “The opportunities for green investment are plentiful – London’s deep pools of liquidity make it the natural choice for financing these initiatives.

“This report marks a significant starting point for truly propelling green finance onto the national agenda. We look forward to engaging with Government closely on this in the short and long-term future.”

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister said: “Our first-class talent and unrivaled ambition resulted in over $10 billion being raised through green bonds listed in London in 2017, and we have no intention of slowing down. I want to thank the Taskforce for their hard work, and I look forward to working with the industry on their recommendations to ensure that this market flourishes, not just at home, but across the world.”

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy, published October 2017, recognizes clean growth as one of the ‘Grand Challenges’ for the UK economy.

This creates an enormous opportunity to maximize the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth through the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies, systems and services that cost less than high carbon alternatives, according to the Green Finance Initiative.

The UK government will respond to the recommendations in full later in 2018, the Green Finance Initiative said.

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