The Government has revealed its landmark Green Finance Strategy, outlining plans to increase investment in sustainable projects and infrastructure. how the finance sector and better climate disclosure from corporates can drive progress towards wider action on climate change and the push towards net-zero emissions. The Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, John Glen, made the announcement at the third Green Finance Summit in London, stating that financial services will have a bigger role to play than any other sector in tackling climate change.

The UK is the first major economy to legislate to reach net emissions by 2050. This move further demonstrates that the Government is clearly putting clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy. Its aims are to ensure that climate change risks and opportunities are integrated into financial decision making and to increase availability of finance to make the most of the economic opportunity from the UK’s low carbon and environmental expertise and world leading financial services sector. The strategy includes expectations for publicly listed companies and asset owners to disclose climate risk and impact data by 2022.

The strategy features investment and funding increases into green projects, infrastructures and homes utilising the findings from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). More than 780 organisations now support of the TCFD, including the world’s largest banks, asset managers and pension funds, highlighting the appetite for green finance. Included in the strategy is:
• A £5m Green Home Finance Fund to help scale green finance mechanisms, including home energy efficiency grants, green mortgages and energy efficiency retrofit projects.
• A Green Finance Education Charter to place green finance and climate understandings as part of future qualifications and certificates for financial practitioners.
• A total of £5.8bn for international climate finance to encourage other nations to act on climate collaboratively.

The first Green Finance Strategy is an important step towards delivering the funding and investment that is required to achieve the 2050 net zero emissions target and the Clean Growth Strategy. What is now vital is that climate change is recognised as an existential risk for businesses and the population. Having placed the financial establishments at the heart of driving change, measures must be implemented at speed and scale if we are to deliver a planet fit for our children’s future.

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