MPs on the Treasury Committee have launched an inquiry scrutinising the climate impacts of the Treasury and the financial services sector, with the aim of determining how these actors can change their ways in order to spur decarbonisation progress ahead of the fourth and fifth carbon budgets.
Launched today (5 June) to coincide with World Environment Day, the seven-week inquiry will see the Committee examine HM Treasury’s current strategy and how it is either helping or hindering the low-carbon transition. This information will then be used to make a string of recommendations as to where additional funding for reaching net-zero by 2050 can be taken from, ahead of this autumn’s cross-government spending review.
As for the private sector, firms from across the financial services industry are being encouraged to submit written information regarding the steps they have taken – or are planning to take – to “green” their business models, such as divesting from high-carbon assets of aligning with the Paris Agreement. MPs have also asked such businesses to provide information on the barriers preventing them from delivering green finance products or investing in low-carbon assets.
MPs are additionally hoping to use the inquiry to measure the potential economic benefits of the UK’s low-carbon transition, with this data set to be translated into job creation and growth in GDP after the review has concluded on 26 July.
“Whilst decarbonising the UK economy presents significant challenges, it also provides an opportunity for the financial services sector to unlock its green potential,” Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan MP said.
“Decarbonising an economy doesn’t mean it has to stop growing. The time is ripe to explore how we can make sure that the UK gets this right.”
The first oral evidence session for the inquiry is due to take place on 2 July.
edie’s Big Brexit Questions podcast on green finance
Those keen to find out more about the current state and priorities of the UK’s green finance sector – and how this may be impacted by Brexit – are encouraged to listen to edie’s Big Brexit Questions podcast with the chair of the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative and former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Roger Gifford. You can listen to that podcast in full, for free, by clicking here.