A conversation on the Green Finance Strategy

A conversation on the Green Finance Strategy
Environment analysis: On 2 July 2019, the government published its policy paper on the Green Finance Strategy—a strategy that ‘recognises the role of the financial sector in delivering global and domestic climate and environmental objectives’. Imogen Garner, partner in the financial services team, Glenn Hall, partner and head of the government relations and public policy team, and Rosa Mottershead, counsel in the energy, infrastructure and natural resources team, all at Norton Rose Fulbright, discuss, among other things, the opportunities created by the strategy, the implications for the financial services/banking and finance sectors, and mandatory requirements that businesses must consider.
What is the background to the Green Finance Strategy? Why now?

Glenn Hall (GH): Prior to the launch of the Green Finance Strategy, the government had led various initiatives in the area of climate and environmental issues, notably the Climate Change Act 2008, Clean Growth Strategy, 25 Year Environmental Plan, and the National Adaptation Programme. In parallel, the UK has been contributing to the development of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan, which contains several legislative measures designed to promote the provision of finance to investment taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

Rosa Mottershead (RM): We should all be aware of the threat of climate change. To meet this threat, governments globally need to pick up the pace of change, and direct investment towards cleaner, more resilient economic growth. This will involve the reallocation of significant amounts of capital towards green investment. The government recognises the significant commercial opportunity that the green finance sector presents for the UK financial sector and the Green Finance Strategy is a step towards realising this opportunity, as well as seeking to mitigate this threat.

What is the Green Finance Strategy?

GH: The government considers the Green Finance Strategy as integral to its plans to consolidate the UK’s position as a global leader in this area and capture commercial opportunities as this important sector continues to grow.

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