Policy overhaul urged to unlock billions in green investment

A major report has called for the UK’s green finance policies to be overhauled to unlock the billions in investment needed for the low-carbon transition.

The Green Finance Taskforce, an alliance of organisations across the sector, argues that aims that “unprecedented levels of investment” will be required for the UK to lead the world in cutting emissions and drive economic growth.

It believes the low carbon transition taking place across the world presents a huge opportunity for the UK but also argues that more support is needed to develop environmental technology, infrastructure and services.

The taskforce has worked with over 140 organisations to deliver a series of recommendations on how the Government and the private sector can work together to maximise the UK’s role in mobilising the green finance the UK and global economy will need.

New green bond proposed

Recommendations include a relaunch of UK Green Finance activities under a unified umbrella and issuing a sovereign green bond to raise new funds.

It also says businesses and investors should embrace the guidelines on assessing and reporting on climate risk which were published last year by the International Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Claire Perry MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “This report represents a key milestone for our Clean Growth Strategy. I look forward to working with industry to enable businesses across the UK to take full advantage of the transition to a low carbon economy.”

The Green Finance Taskforce was set up Government to “encourage capital to move towards greener and cleaner sectors in the UK, and to ensure we continue to lead the world in green finance”.

“The UK is home to the world’s most developed and international financial centre, and whilst the UK has played a key role in the development of the green finance sector, we recognise there is more to do domestically to achieve our ambitions of global leadership for this sector,” said the report.

A need to act quickly

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association said she “strongly welcomed” the report and its recommendations.

“The Government should be applauded for instigating the Taskforce and must now act quickly to implement the recommendations, further cementing the UK’s position as a global leader in green finance.

“As the report highlights, these proposals must also be matched by policies that support a pipeline of renewable and clean tech projects to be invested in. This includes setting out what mechanisms will replace the existing renewable incentives that currently come to an abrupt end by 2020.”

> Download the Green Finance Taskforce report