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Government funds London and Leeds green finance and investment centre

A £10 million investment will link UK institutions to provide intelligence and research to help create products and services to combat climate change.

The UK government is partnering with institutions including Oxford and Leeds universities, and Imperial College London, to drive green investment and finance globally, it announced Monday.

The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment, with £10 million government funding, will start in April. Physical hubs in London and Leeds are expected to open a few months later.

The two research centres will provide “data and analytics to financial institutions and services, such as banks, lenders, investors, and insurers around the world”, the government said.

Other institutions involved are Bristol and Reading universities, The Alan Turing Institute, technology company Satellite Applications Catapult, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Global partners include the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme Financial Initiative (UNEP FI).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK’s energy and clean growth minister, said in a press release: “While the government has invested billions of pounds so we can end the UK’s contribution to climate change, we will not reach our net zero target without mobilising private capital and unleashing the power of the free market.”

The centre’s work will include:

  • Equipping banks with the environmental and scientific intelligence “to help companies of all sizes, including startups, anticipate, adapt, and gear up for the risks posed by climate change”, the government explained.
  • Research to help create products and services that tackle climate change, such as cutting-edge technologies that measure severe storms and flood risks for property investors, and tools that can improve data on industrial pollution linked to investment portfolios.

The Bank of England’s executive sponsor for work on climate change, Sarah Breeden, said in a press release that “integrating climate and environmental data and analytics into decision-making will allow financial institutions to identify, measure, and manage the financial risks and opportunities from climate change”.

This would, she explained, support the Bank of England’s objective to ensure the financial system is resilient to these risks and supportive of the transition to net zero.

Oliver Rowe (Oliver.Rowe@aicpa-cima.com) is an FM magazine senior editor.