Industry-consulted Green Finance Taskforce produces policy recommendations for the future of Green Finance in the UK

The Green Finance Taskforce has published its report “Accelerating Green Finance”, today, calling on Government to consolidate the UK’s position as a world-leading hub for green finance. Charlotte Morgan, Energy and Infrastructure partner, is a member of the taskforce so Linklaters had an opportunity to input into the report.

The report, suggests that the creation of a new Green Finance Institute will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all work relating to the sector – from international engagement to green fintech, climate and data science. The report also recommends that Government should issue a green sovereign bond to help fund a number of national green projects, including the UK’s flood defence and resilience.

Linklaters partner Charlotte Morgan led the Commercial and Project Finance workstream, with contributions to the work of the taskforce from partner Reza Taylor, managing associates Melanie Shanker and Francesca Matthews. Jonathan Terry, Nikita Kapoor and Katy Blake also assisted. We convened three roundtable meetings at Linklaters with leading green finance investors, financiers and project sponsors and developers.

Participants included a number of clients and active players in the green infrastructure space, including MUFG, Barclays Capital, BNPP, Green Investment Group/Macquarie, Santander, JP Morgan, HSBC, Foresight, Engie, Siemens, Aviva Investors, i-squared Capital, Greencoat Capital, Amber Infrastructure, Equitix, Octopus Energy and Investec. Charlotte Morgan facilitated discussions around barriers to green infrastructure investment that they have experienced and potential policy interventions that would accelerate commercial and project finance in this space. Representatives from BEIS, UK Treasury and City of London also participated.

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister said:

“The UK is the world leader in green finance, and it’s clear from today’s report why that is. Our first-class talent and unrivalled ambition resulted in over $10 billion being raised through green bonds listed in London in 2017, and we have no intention of slowing down. I want to thank the Taskforce for their hard work, and I look forward to working with the industry on their recommendations to ensure that this market flourishes, not just at home, but across the world.”
Government requested 10 recommendations, the separate workstreams produced over 100 and these were grouped into 10 thematic areas. Key policy recommendations to accelerate green finance investment in the UK include: a National Capital Raising Plan for UK green infrastructure, issuance of a sovereign green bond, increasing commercial opportunities for businesses through public procurement opportunities and boosting demand from public bodies and their pension providers for low carbon investment.

The report was well received at it's launch and the Government will respond to the recommendations in full later on this year. Linklaters was the only firm on the taskforce and we will continue to monitor potential opportunities to advise government or market players on their collaboration to implement the taskforce recommendations.