The government has announced a £10 million investment to establish new green finance research hubs in London and Leeds.
The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) will start in April 2021, with physical hubs in the two cities opening a few months later led by a partnership with a number of UK institutions, including the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the University of Leeds.
The research hubs will provide “world class data and analytics” to financial institutions and services such as banks, lenders, investors and insurers globally to better support their investment and business decisions by considering the impact on the environment and climate change.
They will equip banks with the latest environmental and scientific intelligence to help companies anticipate, adapt and gear up for the risks posed by climate change, in addition to helping create new products and services that tackle climate change.
They include technologies to measure severe storms and flood risks for property investors and tools that can improve data on industrial pollution linked to investment portfolios.
The research centres will help divert investment away from unsustainable activities such as deforestation and fossil fuels and towards low carbon sectors, ensuring climate and environment are at the heart of UK financial decision making.
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.”
Funding for the CGFI will be allocated through the Climate and Environmental Risk for Resilient Finance programme, launched by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Innovate UK in February 2020.