UK launches green finance strategy to tackle climate change

London: The UK has unveiled a green finance strategy, setting out plans to increase investment in sustainable projects and infrastructure.

The strategy will ensure that financial risks and opportunities from climate change are integrated into mainstream financial decision-making and increase the availability of finance to make the most of this economic opportunity, one which brings together Britain’s low carbon and environmental expertise and the financial services sector.

Making the announcement at the third Green Finance Summit on Tuesday, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister John Glen said that financial services will have a bigger role to play than any other sector in tackling climate change.

“The UK has a long history of leading the way in tackling climate change, but we need to do more to protect our planet for future generations. Today’s green finance strategy will support this ambition, with new initiatives to boost funding for green ventures and ensure the environment is at the centre of all financial decision-making,” he said.

Last week, the UK became the first country in the G-7 to legislate to move to net zero emissions by 2050. It has shown that going green can be a win-win situation, reducing emissions by 42 per cent, making the country the strongest performer in the G-7.

It has committed to spending at least 5.8 billion pounds on International Climate Finance, encouraging other nations to act on climate collaboratively. This builds on the 3.87 billion pounds that the UK spent on climate activities between 2011 and 2015.

A statement issued by the British High Commission in New Delhi said Britain welcomes Indian organisations looking to access green financing. Indian issuers have raised 1.5 billion pounds on the London Stock Exchange through green bonds over the past two-and-a-half years — including through Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency’s (IREDA) ground-breaking 216 million pounds green masala bond.

Both governments have also established the Green Growth Equity Fund which intends to raise capital from institutional investors for investment in green and renewable energy projects in India.

Harnessing green finance to raise capital for India’s infrastructure investment requirements will be a central theme at the landmark India Day on July 16 hosted by the British government and the City of London Corporation at Mansion House.