A Point of View by Rt Hon Dominic Grieve, QC, MP for Beaconsfield

Perhaps because we are able to spend time out of doors more often, or because summer is a time when we are more aware of the experience of the positive benefits of a ‘green and pleasant land’, this is a moment when perhaps we can picture more vividly how climate change is affecting the world.

I hear and have sympathy with the views of many constituents about green issues, whether it is about trying to reduce single plastic use, taking action to mitigate the effect that their way of life has upon our environment, or picturing the impact of long term environmental damage on the world in the decades to come.

Being away from the daily routines of life can give us all some time to reflect on longer term strategic actions to affect climate change. One of these is to think about ways that our financial institutions can adapt to the challenge of climate change. This country is a global financial leader and there are many ways in which these institutions can influence good practice and investment to bring about positive changes. There is no reason that our world-class financial organisations cannot play a leading part in this.

This country has led the way in setting long-term, legally binding emissions reductions targets and de-carbonising our economy. In June, the UK was the first major economy to legislate to achieve the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Green Finance Initiative, announced at the beginning of July, aims to align private sector financial flows with clean, environmentally sustainable and resilient growth.

Climate change is a financial risk like many other challenges which face our businesses and financial organisations, but it is not one which has been routinely assessed and managed. The government is taking steps to encourage climate related financial disclosures as accepted practice by all listed companies and large asset owners by 2022. Green finance can support investment in ways such as supporting home energy efficiency, ‘green’ mortgages, financial products and services. As a result, environmental sustainability and economic growth can go hand in hand.