Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday (23rd April) local MP Sarah Newton said: “Cornwall and the wider south-west have clean growth at the heart of our local and regional industrial strategy. Many innovative businesses will be delivering the solutions that we need to decarbonise, so will the Minister publish the Green Finance Strategy when she publishes her response to the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, because like her, I think that market forces can be forces for good?”
Action on climate change requires large scale investment in new, low carbon energy, transport and industry, as well as a shift away from old, carbon intensive technologies. The low- carbon transition will redefine the U.K. economy, creating risks and opportunities for our financial sector. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has highlighted that the low- carbon transition creates opportunities, but also carries financial risks as fossil fuel dependent sectors lose value.
In 2017, the Government established a Green Finance Taskforce (GFT) to look at how to mobilise investment in low carbon industries, and to boost green finance into environmental technology, infrastructure and services. Their 2018 report contained 30 recommendations for Government and a response is due ‘in the Spring’.
Commenting further, Sarah said: “Institutional investors such a pension funds as well as big businesses have a huge role to play in financing the innovation we need to develop in Cornwall and around the country to accelerate the clean growth of our economy. Taxpayer and government funding can’t tackle this challenge alone. While progress has been made, there is more that the Government needs to do in developing the framework to unlock private sector investment potential. Next week the UK Climate Change Committee is due to publish its recommendations to the Government about how we can reach net zero emissions as soon as practically possible. The government has committed to carefully consider and respond to those recommendations and when they do I want to see the publication of the Green Finance Strategy. Many people, businesses and communities all want to play their part in rapidly reducing our carbon emissions and I want to ensure they have the tools to do so.”
Ben Nelmes, Head of Public Policy at the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, said:
“Attracting investment in clean, innovative businesses creates jobs and tackles climate change. It is fantastic to see Sarah championing innovative Cornish businesses who are building the low-carbon economy of tomorrow. But we need to go further, faster, which is why the Government must produce an ambitious Green Finance Strategy that stimulates more investment and clean growth.”
Notes to Editor
The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) is the membership organisation for those in the finance industry committed to growing sustainable and responsible finance in the UK. Our vision is a fair, inclusive and sustainable financial system that works for the benefit of society and the environment. UKSIF was created in 1991 and has over 240 members and affiliates including Barclays, RBS, Standard Chartered, London Stock Exchange Group, Aviva as well as financial advisers, institutional and retail fund managers, pension funds, banks, research providers, consultants and NGOs.