Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that £15bn of Sovereign Green Bonds (‘Green Gilt’), will be set aside this financial year to help decarbonise areas of the economy during his first Mansion House speech.
Green projects like zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings will be eligible for funding, in what will be the UK’s first ever Sovereign Green Bonds and will be offered by National Savings and Investments (NS&I).
The speech comes after the government launched its Green Financing Framework on 30 June and sets out the government’s ambitious climate and environmental agenda, as well as its vision for enhancing the UK’s leadership as the world’s pre-eminent green financial centre.
It also details how the proceeds from the Green Gilt and Green Savings Bonds will finance expenditures to help tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and other environmental challenges, while creating green jobs across the UK.
As part of this, the framework lists the six types of green expenditures that will be financed across the UK by the Green Gilt and Green Savings Bonds:
- Clean Transportation
- Renewable Energy
- Energy Efficiency
- Pollution Prevention and Control
- Living and Natural Resources
- Climate Change Adaptation
The Framework also commits the government to annual allocation reporting and biennial reporting on environmental impacts and social co-benefits, ensuring transparency for retail and institutional investors and other interested parties.
These products will give both investors and savers across the UK the opportunity to join the collective fight against climate change and other environmental challenges.
In his speech, the Chancellor also announced plans to require companies, pension schemes, financial services firms and their investment products to report on the impact they are having on the climate and environment.
As well as this, they will have to report on the risks and opportunities facing their business.
The government intends to legislate to deliver this and will set out its approach to green finance regulation ahead of COP26.
They will also work with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to create a new sustainable investment label, a quality stamp, so that consumers can clearly compare the impacts and sustainability of their investments for the first time.
Commenting, Mr Sunak said: “Financial services don’t just generate prosperity at home. They give us the economic power to project our values on the global stage.
“More open, more competitive, more technologically advanced, and more sustainable, that is our vision for financial services.
“The roadmap we are publishing today sets out a detailed plan for the next few years and I look forward to delivering it, together.
PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.