Government invests £10 million in green finance hubs

The UK government has announced a new research initiative that aims to put climate and environment at the heart of UK financial decision making.

The opening of the new UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment – which will have hubs in London and Leeds – was announced by Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and is the result of £10 million in government funding through UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

The new centre for driving global green finance and investment will begin in April 2021, with the physical hubs opening a a few months later. It will be led by a partnership of leading UK institutions including University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and Imperial College London.

The research hubs aim to provide world-class data and analytics to financial institutions and services such as banks, lenders, investors and insurers around the world to better support their investment and business decisions by considering the impact on the environment and climate change. For example, it will equip banks with the latest environmental and scientific intelligence to help companies of all sizes adapt and gear up for climate-related risks.

The research will also help create new “world-leading” products and services that tackle climate change, such as technologies that measure severe storms and flood risks for property investors, and tools that can improve data on industrial pollution linked to investment portfolios.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan commented: “While the government has invested billions of pounds so we can end the UK’s contribution to climate change, we will not reach our net zero target without mobilising private capital and unleashing the power of the free market. The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment will encourage financial services to turn the tide of their investments and focus on sectors and companies that have a smaller environmental footprint. Doing so will support industries and businesses to develop clean green innovations, creating thousands of jobs across the country – ensuring we build back greener.”

The Bank of England’s executive sponsor for work on climate change Sarah Breedan said: “Integrating climate and environmental data and analytics into decision making will allow financial institutions to identify, measure and manage the financial risks and opportunities from climate change, and so support the Bank’s objective to ensure the financial system is resilient to these risks and supportive of the transition to net zero.”