Leeds and London set to become global centres of green finance

Financial Services | Latest News | South East | Technology | Yorkshire
canary wharf
Canary Wharf

Leeds and London will be home to a new UK centre for driving global green finance and investment thanks to a £10m grant from the government.

The new UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment will begin in April 2021, with physical hubs in Leeds and London opening a matter of months later led by a partnership with a number of UK institutions including University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and Imperial College London.

The research hubs in the two cities will provide world-class data and analytics to financial institutions and services such as banks, lenders, investors and insurers around the world to better support their investment and business decisions by considering the impact on the environment and climate change.

For example, the new centre will equip banks with the latest environmental and scientific intelligence to help companies of all sizes, including start-ups, anticipate, adapt and gear up for the risks posed by climate change.

This pioneering research will also help create new world-leading 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.

These new green finance hubs will also attract and develop new green finance talent from around the world to the UK’s major cities.

This will unlock brand-new opportunities for Britain to lead internationally in greening global finance, positioning Leeds and London as global centres for green finance while also protecting the UK economy and society from climate and environmental risks such as extreme weather events, flooding, major biodiversity loss and water crises.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Climate change is the biggest issue that we need to tackle to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren. 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 UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment in London and Leeds will encourage financial services to turn the tide of their investments and focus on sectors and companies that have a smaller environmental footprint. Doing so will support industries and businesses to develop clean green innovations, creating thousands of jobs across the country – ensuring we build back greener.”

Industry reaction

The Bank of England’s executive sponsor for work on climate change Sarah Breedan said: “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, and so support the Bank’s objective to ensure the financial system is resilient to these risks and supportive of the transition to net zero.

“The Bank of England is delighted that the CGFI will support firms’ efforts in this important area, including for the forthcoming Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario.”

Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell said: “As we look to build a more resilient post-pandemic global economy, it’s clear that it must also be a more sustainable one. The demand across the sector for deep expertise in the green finance space – such as that which will be provided by the CGFI – demonstrates that the UK is well-placed to take advantage of this opportunity. I’m therefore delighted that the CGFI will introduce a new layer of innovation to the City of London in sustainable finance.”

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