Green finance ready to scale up, new report suggests
A partnership between government-backed green finance initiatives in the UK and China have made a number of recommendations in a report that will help grow green finance across the globe.
The ‘Turning Green Momentum into Actions’ report is the latest contribution from the UK-China Green Finance Taskforce.
The Taskforce, setup by the Green Finance Initiative (GFI) of the City of London and their Chinese counterpart, the Green Finance Committee (GFC) of the China Society for Finance and Banking, brings together a group of leading industry and policy experts to develop market-led solutions.
Green finance includes private sector investments in technologies, infrastructure and innovative start-ups that can create jobs and allow businesses to expand, boosting economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a statement from the Taskforce, the UK is already a world-leader in green finance and further development will not only assist the transition to a low carbon economy, but also ensure London remains the world’s leading global financial centre.
People’s Bank of China
The formation of a Green Belt and Road Investor Alliance, is a key recommendation of the report, which has been supported by the People’s Bank of China.
The Alliance is made up of representatives involved in infrastructure projects including those from multilateral development banks, banks, asset managers, pension funds and contractors from across the globe.
They will work to agree a new definition for green infrastructure and explore how to combine green finance and the Belt and Road making projects sustainable and profitable. It will also look to create a financial structure and assessment process that enables private investors to invest alongside the development banks, to maximise the amount of capital being deployed along the Belt and Road.
Sir Roger Gifford, chairman of the Green Finance Initiative, said: “The implementation of these recommendations by financial institutions, central banks and policy makers will be a real game changer for the growth of green finance in the years to come. This should help ensure sustainability in the Belt and Road initiative.
“The innovative products that both the UK and China are promoting show that the global financial system can not only help to meet environmental and climate concerns on a commercially viable basis, but also serve to unlock vast untapped investment opportunities.
“I hope that these recommendations go a long way to helping mobilise more green capital, driving the green agenda forward, helping to reduce our carbon footprint and building a more sustainable global economic model.”
Edward Northam, head of the Green Investment Group, added: “The Belt and Road Initiative is a monumental undertaking with the potential to promote green economic growth across a number of geographies.
“We’re excited to be a founding member of the Investor Alliance and hope our experience of developing our guiding green investment principles will help the Alliance meet its stated goal of harmonising existing green standards.”
The interim report also makes a number of recommendations including:
- Governments, policymakers and central banks developing innovative regulatory proposals to drive the issuance of green loans and other green investment products.
- Banks and institutional investors being more proactive in managing and reviewing their environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities.
- Companies working with banks and investors to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into their strategies.
- They should also look at green investment opportunities (i.e electric vehicles, battery storage, greener real estate) with the help of green financial products.
- Establishing a green loan initiative between the UK and China to help facilitate green loans securitisation and green bonds.
- The Taskforce will continue their work throughout the 2017 China UK Economic and Financial Dialogue and COP23.