“Following on from recent announcements regarding mandatory TCFD reporting, clear taxonomy for the financial services sector active in this space, and a Sovereign Green Bond, we are buoyed by the increasingly comprehensive nature of the Government’s plans.
“It remains to be seen what the actual level of new funding pledged will be as part of this ‘new deal’, and if it is not substantial enough, it will hinder efforts to deliver the commitments to be Net Zero by 2050.
“As a starting point it heralds a significant shift in economic policy aligned to the delivery of the Paris Climate Accord, which must be welcomed.”
Addressing specific aspects of the ten point plan Clarke highlights:
Homes & public buildings – “Making our homes more energy efficient and powered by clean and renewable energy must always be high priority, so we are especially encouraged by the extension to the Green Homes Grant scheme and the pledged move away from gas boilers for heating.
“However, given non-commercial buildings account for 18% of the UK’s total carbon emissions we are disappointed that further commitments have not been made here especially given investor appetite for energy efficiency, especially battery storage.
Electric vehicles – “The electrification of the transport sector is an essential infrastructural shift, and one that relies on affordable and reliable access to renewable power in order to deliver decarbonisation benefits alongside reductions in ambient air pollution.
“Although petrol bans are supportive measures, a transformation to widespread adoption needs to see continued progress in vehicle-to-grid technology to create electric vehicle batteries that can help balance out power supply and demand while charging, which will enable the integration of more renewable power into the electricity grid.
“In addition to electrification, innovative fuels like green hydrogen could potentially become viable solutions for the decarbonisation of harder to reduce transport sectors like shipping and aviation.
Maritime – “We hope that this signals the UK will take a leadership role here and we look forward to the government’s commitment to creating a greener, cleaner maritime industry manifesting, especially in light of the recent IMO agreement in late October that formally approved regulations permitting greenhouse gas emissions to continue to rise over the next decade.”
Innovation in finance – “Supporting the City of London to become a global centre of excellence on green finance is a welcome commitment. We must, however, remain committed as an industry to being a global centre of excellence and expertise on not just green finance, but sustainable finance, ensuring at all times we focus on delivering a just and inclusive transition.
“For investors looking at low cost capital opportunities, some of the Net Zero infrastructure categories, do not yet have policy frameworks to provide them “with sufficient confidence in long-term revenues and returns” (PwC ). Consequently, many investments will be deemed higher risk resulting in higher financing costs.
“As a result, capital flows from infrastructure funds, pensions funds and other sources of private capital, looking to de-risk their portfolios from climate risk and play a role in the transition, may not follow. That is why we await with anticipation the clear timetables promised for the regulations that will follow this Government announcement as well as the carbon prices put on emissions which we believe will play a significant role in driving the change that is required.”
Amy Clarke, Chief Impact Officer, Tribe Impact Capital