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UKSIF launches new policy vision – where next for UK Sustainable Finance?

May 11th, 2021

UKSIF Policy Vision

On 28 April 2021 UKSIF launched its new ‘policy vision’ at an event convened to celebrate the organisation’s 30th anniversary.

The document makes great reading if you wish to explore how sustianable finance may evolve over the coming years.

You can download the new UKSIF Policy Vision here.

The main elements of this vision are published below: (Source: UKSIF.org)

Policy Vision Chapter Summaries

1. Making the UK a Leader on ESG Standards

The UK should now ‘lead the way’ in developing global sustainable finance standards. To demonstrate true leadership, the UK should seek to go beyond matching the ambitions of other countries, and draw on ‘best in class’ standards set by leading global standard-setters. As an immediate step, government should provide greater clarity to industry over the UK’s ‘green taxonomy’ to drive forward leadership post-Brexit.

2. Facilitating a Net Zero Future

Government should provide clarity urgently on what net-zero means for each sector of the economy, providing net-zero strategies as soon as possible ahead of COP26 and embed consideration of net-zero into all decision-making. Government must work closely with industry on how the UK can move towards becoming the world’s first Paris-aligned financial system.

3. Building the Green Economy at Home

Government must ensure the new National Infrastructure Bank has the necessary scale to deliver it net-zero mandate in practice. Separately, the UK should develop an ambitious investment programme to provide a faster stimulus to the ‘green economy,’ and commit to exploring social and sustainability-linked bonds ahead of COP26.

4. Safeguarding our Natural Environment

Improving our collective understanding of biodiversity is a priority, including identifying the most impactful biodiversity issues investors should be alert to. UKSIF supports the UK to take a prominent role to shape the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (‘TNFD’) when it launches this year and embed this at home.

5. Supporting a ‘Just Transition’ for the UK’s Workforce

Creating a ‘Just Transition’ is a key priority. A UK ‘Just Transition Commission’ can determine a common language and develop policy priorities to begin this important work.

6. Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion in all its Forms

We want greater disclosure within companies on a wide range of diversity issues, including mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting at large companies. The UK should build on the Hampton-Alexander Review and commit to an initiative considering fresh targets for female board representation.

7. Sustainability in Pensions and Savings

Government and regulators should seek ways to continue to upskill pension schemes in their understanding of climate change to protect savers, while the drive of the pensions industry towards net zero should continue at pace.

8. Promoting Sustainability and Resilience Abroad

We want the UK to return to its 0.7% development aid target as soon as possible, while mandates for the UK’s international development bodies should explicitly include net-zero considerations to support the climate transition overseas.

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