- The Chancellor is laying out a series of green finance safeguards ahead of the Budget including a block on “greenwashing”.
- The UK has announced plans to launch a £400m package of investment through a partnership with Bill Gates for the development of green technologies.
- The UK government has also set out its long-awaited strategy to reach its target of net zero emissions, which includes an expansion of electric vehicles.
The UK Government's Green Commitments
Emma Wall, Head of Investment Analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown
“Investors have been backing the green economy for some time – they haven’t waited for Rishi and Boris to make these commitments. We’ve seen flows into sustainable funds on our platform up 6,000% over the past five years. And these funds now total $2 trillion globally.
There are a number of factors at play here – investors are more socially aware - the pandemic has exacerbated inequality and younger investors in particular want to tackle this. Regulatory change has created investment opportunities, and performance plays a part too. Last year funds which didn’t invest in fossil fuels outperformed the market, as energy prices crashed and green-tech companies excelled. It’s a different story of late of course, with energy prices rising rapidly, but the structural themes remain.
But the popularity of responsible funds has become problematic as investment providers jump on the bandwagon, leading to accusations of greenwashing – saying you have better environmental credentials than you do. The EU has already cracked down on providers and the US has launched investigations, and now the UK is following suit. Rishi Sunak has today published new Sustainability Disclosure Requirements for fund managers which it has developed with support from the UK regulator and pension schemes and fund managers will have to "clearly justify any sustainability claims.”
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