Green finance now forms a key plank of the UK finance industry’s contribution to the campaign against climate change. There has been a huge global demand for green bonds, with the market raising $95bn in 2016 and on track to reach issuance of $123bn in 2017, according to Bloomberg. It has prominent supporters, including the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, who recently claimed that “Green finance is a major opportunity…[increasing] the prospects for an environmentally sustainable recovery in global growth.”
The idea is a simple one: to make and win the business case for sustainable investments that generate environmental benefits, leading to a low-carbon, climate resilient and resource-efficient economy. This event comes at an exciting time – with green finance taking off in the UK. For its supporters, this rapid growth in sustainable investment is cause for celebration. However, its expansion also invites reflection on what exactly constitutes ‘green’ finance?
This public panel event brought together leading academics, practitioners and business leaders in the UK to discuss the status of green finance today. The panel surveyed what exactly constitute ‘green’ finance? Can green finance offer a solution for investors, customers and regulators focused on fulfilling their social and environmental duties? What are the biggest challenges facing the green finance boom in the UK? What kinds of instruments are lacking in the market and what will the future of innovation in this sector look like?
Kari Aina Eik, Secretary General OiER, United Smart Cities
Michael Grubb, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
Pooma Kimis, Managing Director, OMFIF
Julia Prescot, Meridiam Chief Strategy Officer
Isabelle Laurent, Deputy Treasurer and Head of Funding of EBRD
Chair: Karina Luchinkina, GGI Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder of BioEnergy Connect