Working towards a sustainable environment

Chancellor Philip Hammond has called on global financial leaders to place climate adaptation and mitigation at the heart of future economic policies and planning, after joining a new global coalition to drive action on climate change.

Hammond announced the UK Spring Statement last month

Hammond announced the UK Spring Statement last month

Speaking at the annual IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington over the weekend, Hammond urged global financial leaders to develop international partnerships that foster economic opportunities by combatting climate changed.

“Britain is at a turning point and our future is bright. We must work together with our partners across the world to create a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable economy for future generations,” Hammond said.

Hammond joined finance ministers from 19 other countries to launch the new Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, aimed at directing more revenue opportunities to tackle climate change. The new coalition has endorsed six common principles, known as the “Helsinki Principles,” to promote new fiscal policies on climate adaptation and mitigation.

The coalition will assist countries in mobilising the required funds to implement and reach national climate ambitions, setting out strategies for green investment and factor climate risks and vulnerabilities into economic planning.

“Finance ministries have a crucial role to play in accelerating the global shift to a low-carbon, climate-resilient growth model,” World Bank’s chief executive, Kristalina Georgieva, said.

“This Coalition demonstrates new levels of ambition from decision-makers in the fiscal policy arena and provides an important platform for Finance Ministers to share best practice on the jobs and growth benefits of the new climate economy.”

The countries that have endorsed the principles are: Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Kenya, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

UK leadership

The Chancellor noted the importance of tackling pressing global challenges such as climate change and slowing growth rates, highlighting that the UK has reduced its carbon emissions relative to GDP faster than any G20 nation.

Hammond also noted that 430,000 UK jobs derive from the green economy, noting that the new principles could help spur low-carbon markets and job growth both in the UK and abroad.

The launch of the coalition comes exactly one month after Hammond unveiled a raft of new pledges in the 2019 Spring Statement. Specifically, Hammond pledged to implement legislation requiring developers to deliver biodiversity net-gain through all projects and launch a review into the economic benefits of environmental conservation.

Matt Mace