Press Release: Green Finance Institute Launches at City of London Corporation’s Flagship Green Finance Summit

Connecting Green Finance to Real-Economy Outcomes

Published on 2 Jul 2019

Green Finance Institute logo

The Green Finance Institute launched today at the City of London Corporation’s flagship annual Green Finance Summit.

The formation of the Green Finance Institute was announced by the Chancellor in 2018 in response to the recommendation of the Green Finance Taskforce, and will play a vital role in ensuring the UK remains a world-leading market for green finance.

Speaking at the Summit, Sir Roger Gifford, Chair, Green Finance Institute and Senior Banker, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), said:

Considerable investment is required to catalyse the transition of the global economy towards a more sustainable future.  It is critical that financial market participants and policymakers collaborate to co-create the solutions.

London’s standing as a global financial centre coupled with the UK Government’s track record of climate leadership, uniquely positions us to build on our reputation as the global hub for green finance. The Green Finance Institute is tasked with delivering on that ambition.

The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by seed funding from HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the City of London Corporation.

As the UK’s principal forum for public and private collaboration in green finance, the Green Finance Institute’s overarching mission is to accelerate the domestic and global transition to a zero-carbon and climate-resilient economy through mobilising capital.

Dr. Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, CEO Green Finance Institute said:

The systemic risk posed by the climate crisis to financial services requires decisive action and a rapid pivot towards the opportunities presented by the zero-carbon economy. Box-ticking, sloganeering, greenwashing and relying on the heroic efforts of individuals won’t achieve the scale of the transformation required. Cross-sector collaboration and the focused application of the creativity, innovation and skills of the financial services industry to finance the global transition will.

The Institute will focus on four specific areas:

Convening and leading mission-led coalitions to structure and scale green finance solutions

  • Bringing together extraordinary groups of experts across public and private sectors, academia and civil society to unlock barriers to greater and faster deployment of green capital towards a zero-carbon and resilient economy
  • Focusing on well-defined, real economy challenges, building on existing efforts, aligning complementary initiatives and creating new green commercial opportunities for financial services
  • Using the Green Finance Institute’s unique positioning to build the solutions identified – championing policy or regulatory developments, commissioning or collating data, developing new products or asset classes, promoting greater education and awareness

Driving the global green finance agenda through international dialogue, partnerships and trade 

  • Jointly developing and supporting the UK Government’s green finance objectives overseas with a focus on efficiently deploying green capital, promoting greater public-private collaboration and co-creating financial solutions in order to create commercial opportunities for financial services
  • Building on the UK’s leading green finance track record, creating a recognised brand for its leadership and innovation in green financial products as well as green finance policy and regulation

Sharing and showcasing developments across all aspects of UK green finance

  • Building an accessible, digital platform to curate and collate latest developments in UK green finance; hosting roundtables, attending and organising summits to raise awareness of green finance best practice across both public and private sector

Supporting the greening of the financial system

  • Collaborating with financial regulators and policy makers to optimise commercial opportunities for financial services arising from regulation and policy developments
  • Aiding financial services with the adoption of green finance regulation and policy developments

The first wave of mission-led coalitions the Institute is announcing today fall into two categories:

Financing Green Coalitions: 

  • Scaling up financial solutions to improve the energy efficiency of UK buildings
  • Building capacity to finance resilient infrastructure in UK and overseas
  • Financing sustainable commodity production (as members of the Global Resource Initiative Taskforce)

Greening Finance Coalitions: 

  • Promoting the climate resilience of UK pensions in partnership with UKSIF and others
  • Supporting and actively participating in the Climate Financial Risk Forum
  • Supporting and promoting the Green Finance Education Charter

Ends/

Media Contact:
Catrin Thomas  comms@gfi.green  +44 (0) 7753 612 523

Notes to editors:

Additional Quotes

Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “The Green Finance Institute, like the Treasury Committee’s inquiry into decarbonisation and green finance, will focus on one of the most pressing issues of our time.

“The UK has a world-leading financial services sector, which can play a pivotal role in the transition to a decarbonised economy. The City of London is already at the forefront of green finance, but there is more work to be done.

“Efforts such as those made by the GFI and the Treasury Committee will hopefully make sure that the UK gets this right.”

City Minister, John Glen, said: “The UK has a long history of leading the way in tackling climate change, but we need to do more to protect our planet for future generations.

“The City has a vital role to play in securing a greener future for us all. By investing more in sustainable projects it can not only protect our environment, but also help establish London as the pre-eminent international centre for green finance.

“Today’s Green Finance Strategy will support this ambition, with new initiatives to boost funding for green ventures and ensure the environment is at the centre of all financial decision-making.”

Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Chris Skidmore, said: “As the first major economy to legislate to reach net emissions by 2050, green finance can play a crucial role in our mission to protect the planet while growing the economy.

“Through today’s plans and by putting clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy we’ll continue to work with our leading financial services sector to drive even more ambitious action, showing the rest of the world that responsible business can be a win-win for the economy and the environment.”

Jeremy Oppenheim, Founding Partner, SYSTEMIQ said: “The Green Finance Institute will play a very important and distinctive role connecting green finance to the real economy. Working closely with policy makers, financial institutions, corporates and academia, the GFI is in a unique position to strengthen alignment on green transition challenges. We look forward to supporting Rhian-Mari Thomas and the leadership team as they pave the way towards a more sustainable and resilient economy.”

About the Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the City of London Corporation.  As the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, it is uniquely placed to accelerate the domestic and global transition to a zero-carbon and climate-resilient economy through mobilising capital.  The Green Finance Institute convenes and leads mission-led coalitions to identify and unlock barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful, real-economy outcomes.  For more information visit gfi.green and follow @gfi_green.