WBF Policy Conference - Priorities for UK Green and Sustainable Finance

Date: 13th September 2021

Location: Online

Westminster Business Forum policy conference

Priorities for green and sustainable finance in the UK - expertise, best practice and the green taxonomy, regulation, and wider economic and societal impact

Morning, Monday, 13th September 2021


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with

Fayyaz Muneer, Deputy Director, Green Finance and Prudential Policy, HM Treasury
and
Anna Bond, Environment Agency; Professor Iain Clacher, Leeds University Business School and UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment Innovation Hub Development; Liz Gilbert, Cornwall Development Company; Sarah Gordon, Impact Investing Institute; Ami Kotecha, Amro Partners; Simon Thompson, Chartered Banker Institute and Green Finance Education Charter; and Oscar Warwick Thompson, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)

[full chair and speaker details]

Note: fees apply for most delegates, but concessionary and complimentary places are available [subject to terms and conditions - see below].

This conference is focussing on next steps for this increasingly important area of finance, looking at:

  • priorities for regulation, resilience, innovation, and competition
  • opportunities and next steps for green and sustainable finance in the economic recovery from COVID-19 and as part of wider government objectives


The timing is significant with a heightened focus as part of the policy drive to develop the green economy in the UK and internationally, in the wake of COVID-19, and in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow in November.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with policymakers to consider a range of relevant developments, including:

  • the announcement of new regulations for reporting on climate impact by 2025 for a number of financial institutions and businesses, set out by the Chancellor as he set out his ambition for the future of UK financial services
  • establishment of a green taxonomy to determine whether an activity set to be developed in the UK is environmentally sustainable, also announced by the Chancellor
  • the ongoing Bank of England climate stress test exercise with:
    • the recent publication of the key elements of the 2021 scenario,
    • the aim of sizing the risks from climate change for businesses and insurers as well as the financial system as a whole

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with Fayyaz Muneer, Deputy Director, Green Finance and Prudential Policy, HM Treasury.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • innovation in green finance
  • ways in which developments in green finance can contribute to regional growth, recovery and resilience
  • supporting wider government ambitions for decarbonisation and sustainability
  • the future outlook for green and sustainable finance in the UK

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The agenda in summary:

  • Latest on innovation in green finance - and its role in supporting the global competitiveness of the UK’s financial services
  • Moving forward green and sustainable finance in the UK:
    • developing expertise and best practice
    • implementing the green taxonomy
    • promoting investment, innovation, and responsible climate finance
  • Carbon policy ambitions and promoting resilience in finance - climate events, the upcoming stress test, and its implications for risk management processes
  • Latest thinking on regulation after the Financial Services Act
  • Avenues for maximising the sector’s potential societal contribution:
    • regional development, recovery, and resilience
    • decarbonisation, energy efficiency, and nature recovery
    • leadership by example in corporate social responsibility
  • Policy priorities for green and sustainable finance in the UK - the link with wider government aims, and the challenges and opportunities it raises


Key areas for discussion:

Innovation in green finance - developing the contribution of green finance towards the global competitiveness of the UK’s financial services:


  • global leadership:
    • assessing the COP26 presidency’s key goal to push for finance towards climate objectives, and the President’s encouragement of investment in green recoveries
    • discussing reports that the Prime Minister plans to ask other leaders to provide climate finance for poorer countries, so as to avoid further environmental damage


Moving forward green and sustainable finance in the UK:

  • expertise - looking what will be required to build knowledge and skills in the green finance workforce, and priorities for training, upskilling, and development
  • investment:
    • support for the commercial viability of projects, developing understanding around value
    • evaluating access to information, and the quality of data and analytics available
    • optics and ethics - recent concerns around UK institutions investing in projects with large greenhouse gas emissions
  • innovation - priorities for initiating and scaling up projects, responsible approaches to climate finance, and assessing funding models and mechanisms
  • collaboration - exploring the potential for furthering partnerships with key players in private finance
  • a green taxonomy - looking at evidence and efficacy for the UK, what can be learnt from practice in the EU and elsewhere, and examining the approach towards identifying green activities


Contributing to economic and societal development:

  • local and national impact:
    • the potential to contribute towards regional development, recovery, and resilience, support skills development, and attract investment into local economies
    • the role of green finance in global competition
  • renewables - assessing the implications of the falling cost of renewables, a relatively low level of risk, and the potential for investment in infrastructure to create a large number of jobs
  • local government - looking at existing and emerging sources of finance for green projects
  • housing, the built environment, and energy - priorities for decarbonisation, engagement with stakeholders, and access to information, as well as supporting public investment in decarbonising housing
  • nature recovery - exploring different project scales, standards, and collaboration
  • mixed priorities - looking at the influence of:
    • changing consumer demand for sustainable activities in the private and public sectors
    • investor demand for higher returns to meet higher levels of risk
    • businesses offsetting and going carbon negative


Government carbon ambitions and promoting resilience in finance:

  • planning ahead - the upcoming stress test, and its implications for risk management processes


Priorities for regulation:

  • the Financial Services Act - latest thinking on regulation, with the Government aiming to attract more innovative businesses to the UK


Policy priorities for green and sustainable finance in the UK - and challenges and opportunities around meeting wider Government aims

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A scan of relevant developments: [jump to the agenda]

  • Chancellor sets out ambition for future of UK financial services - including:
    • the announcement of new regulations for reporting on climate impact by 2025, including:
      • a mandatory climate-related financial disclosures framework for a range of financial institutions and businesses
      • with a number of disclosures expected to be required before 2023
    • a new Sovereign Green Bond aiming to support jobs, sustainable projects, and infrastructure investment
    • plans for the establishment of a green taxonomy, which:
      • will identify environmentally sustainable activities
      • is expected to be based on the system used in the EU, but adjusted for the UK market
  • the National Infrastructure Bank:
    • following the 2018 National Infrastructure Assessment, and to be set up in Leeds
    • with some concerns that the funding behind the new Bank does not meet the level recommended by the NIC
  • a new green finance research and advisory centre - based in London and Leeds, intended to provide guidance to the private sector
  • COP26 - the upcoming UN climate summit, due to take place in Glasgow this November
  • The Bank of England is restarting the Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (CBES):
    • the Bank’s climate stress test exercise
    • with the Bank of England recently publishing key elements of the 2021 scenario and the final results to be released next Spring
  • UKSIF’s Policy Vision - launched in April, asking for:
    • clarity on issues such as the green taxonomy and how industries will achieve net-zero
    • collaboration on a just transition, international development, skills and diversity, and alignment with the Paris Agreement
  • Bank of England given green remit to aid net zero carbon goal - the Chancellor giving the monetary policy committee a duty to support government strategy on transition to a sustainable economy
  • the recent Climate Bank Roadmap - from the European Investment Bank
  • the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution - the Prime Minister’s plan from last year, including making the City a global leader in green finance, as part of work on the Green Recovery Challenge Fund

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The agenda [taking place online]

Draft subject to change

8.30

Registration



9.00

Chair’s opening remarks

Senior Parliamentarian 



9.05   

Latest on innovation in green finance and its role in supporting the global competitiveness of the UK’s financial services

Senior commentator

Questions and comments from the floor



9.30

Moving forward green and sustainable finance in the UK - developing expertise and best practice, implementing the green taxonomy, and promoting investment, innovation, and responsible climate finance

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute and Chair, Green Finance Education Charter

Professor Iain Clacher, Professor of Pensions and Finance, Leeds University Business School; and Director, UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment Innovation Hub Development

Oscar Warwick Thompson, Senior Policy Manager, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)

Senior representative, green taxonomy

Senior representative, international banking

Questions and comments from the floor


 

10.20

Break



10.25

Carbon policy ambitions and promoting resilience in finance - climate events, the upcoming stress test, and its implications for risk management processes

Senior representative, banking

Questions and comments from the floor



10.50

Chair’s closing remarks

Senior Parliamentarian



10.55

Break



11.05

Chair’s opening remarks

Senior Parliamentarian


 

11.10

Latest thinking on regulation after the Financial Services Act

Senior representative, regulation

Questions and comments from the floor



11.30

Avenues for maximising the sector’s potential societal contribution - regional development, recovery and resilience, decarbonisation, energy efficiency and nature recovery, and leadership by example in corporate social responsibility

Liz Gilbert, Tevi Capital Fund Manager, Cornwall Development Company

Ami Kotecha, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Amro Partners

Sarah Gordon, Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute

Anna Bond, Green Finance Manager, Environment Agency

Senior representative, business

Questions and comments from the floor


 

12.20

Break



12.25

Policy priorities for green and sustainable finance in the UK, the link with wider government aims, and the challenges and opportunities it raises

Fayyaz Muneer, Deputy Director, Green Finance and Prudential Policy, HM Treasury

Questions and comments from the floor



12.55

Chair’s and Westminster Business Forum closing remarks

Senior Parliamentarian

Sean Cudmore, Deputy Editor, Westminster Business Forum

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Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. [About Us]


There's an outline of the government departments, regulators and other interested parties who we expect to take part here.

 

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