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UK Green Finance Taskforce recommendations launched

written by Joel Kenrick

The UK Green Finance Task Force, commissioned by the UK Government, published 30 recommendations on 28 March (link here with PDF).

'The Green Finance Taskforce issued a suite of recommendations for policy measures that could help mobilise investment needed to meet the UK’s environmental objectives and strengthen its position as a centre for green finance', according to IPE. "Clarification of fiduciary duties, investor competence, good fund governance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and processes that take proper account of the financial risks and opportunities that they pose, are essential to enable the UK financial system to respond in a timely way to climate risk and clean growth opportunities," the report said.

The government should 'boost the growth of green finance by enforcing the voluntary recommendations of the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in law' wrote Environmental Finance. 'The UK should also “go beyond the TCFD” and consider establishing a new and voluntary UK ‘Sustainability-related Disclosures’ framework, introducing additional elements beyond the scope of the TCFD.' Ben Caldecott said "We must become the first country to properly and completely integrate the TCFD recommendations into our corporate governance and reporting framework." The recommendations include that "relevant financial regulators should integrate the TCFD recommendations throughout the existing UK corporate governance and stewardship reporting framework", creating and publishing guidelines by summer 2019, and clarifying that disclosing material climate-related risks is already mandatory under existing law (see full report and Business Green).

Conservative MP and Treasury select committee member Simon Clarke MP wrote on how a greener City of London will outpace Paris and Frankfurt after Brexit on the Conservative Home website.

Energy and Climate Minister Claire Perry MP in an oped for Business Green marking the 10 years of the Climate Change Act, wrote that: "Just this week, I met with key players in our finance sector, where the Green Finance Taskforce commissioned by this government made wide-ranging recommendations to unlock the vast potential of green investment, trillions of pounds of private sector capital that will be needed to be deployed if we are to meet our binding targets. I now want to take forward these important recommendations - and then see our model for clean growth replicated across the globe."

Utility Week write on the ‘goldmine of untapped investments’ in clean energy, focusing on the national capital raising plan to deliver the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) and set up a £100 million fund to develop local green energy projects. Market Mogul use the Green Finance Taskforce recommendation on issuing a sovereign green bond to ask What’s the Deal with Green Bonds, and inGlobal Capital Jon Hay writes that the UK must join the race to the top in green finance. Responsible Investor report from the launch event, while Business Green and The Times write that Barclays will launch a new green mortgage where 'buyers who opt for more energy efficient homes will be able to access cheaper mortgage rate' following the Taskforce report.

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