On Wednesday, June 21the APPG held a webinar on The Green Finance Strategy, chaired by Jerome Mayhew MP, featured insights from Bart White and James-Augustine Foley from Santander, and Ryan Jude from the Green Finance Institute (GFI). The primary focus was on ensuring that the UK finance sector is ready to effectively support the new government strategy.
All speakers praised the new Green Finance Strategy and also emphasised the need for at least £50 billion per year of investment to achieve net zero targets. However, concerns were raised about potential stranded assets if this issue is not addressed adequately, which could result in £110 billion in losses. Everyone welcomed that biodiversity and adaptation were recognised as interconnected areas that require simultaneous attention, given the current damage caused by flooding and costly insurance claims.
The global nature of the green finance challenge was highlighted, emphasising the necessity for collaboration for effective solutions. The UK’s strong sectors in green investment, such as offshore wind and waste were noted, and the stability and consistency of the regulatory environment were praised. Transition plans, alignment, and tracking financial investments are essential, facilitated by the UK landscape of climate finance. The UK has an opportunity to be a fast mover in adopting and revising the EU taxonomy.
Economic stability emerged as a critical factor for successful green investments. The impact of inflationary pressures on investment was discussed, with a recognition that investment in net zero is no different to other investments from the current high inflation environment. Bart White from Santander also touched on the importance of access to talent – particularly with construction workers so that projects can be delivered. International commitments and the experiences of other countries, such as the IRA in the US, were seen as valuable sources of inspiration. There were discussions about the impact of green taxonomies on emissions and the readiness of UK businesses to meet disclosure requirements, the UK government will consult on the taxonomy and the Sustainability Disclosure Requirements will have a voluntary period of two years, which will help UK businesses adapt to the net zero environment.