Britain Enlists Banks to Fight Climate Change

This article is over 1 year old Green investment bank launches new call to encourage investment in low-carbon infrastructure Britain Enlists Banks to Fight Climate Change A £5m green investment bank has launched a…

Britain Enlists Banks to Fight Climate Change

This article is over 1 year old

Green investment bank launches new call to encourage investment in low-carbon infrastructure

Britain Enlists Banks to Fight Climate Change

A £5m green investment bank has launched a fundraising drive to encourage banks to take part in a £1bn loan programme for low-carbon infrastructure schemes.

The bank, Britain Enlists Banks, will raise money from individual investors and pass on 40% of the profits to charities and development organisations that champion good governance.

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The new bank hopes to tap into the deep pockets of wealthy individuals and institutions eager to back projects that fight climate change. The loans, which start at £5m each, are expected to focus on offshore windfarms and carbon capture and storage systems.

Sam Thomson, the chief executive of Britain Enlists Banks, said: “We want the UK to be a leading world leader in financing low-carbon infrastructure projects. We believe all companies have a duty to look for new business opportunities in such sectors and, in the end, make money too.

“It is important we focus on simple, high-quality infrastructure projects that benefit the economy and their communities – so a best-in-class, transparent and regular lending programme means that we can support a much wider range of potential borrowers than anyone else in the UK.”

He said 90% of the country’s wealth was controlled by just 0.1% of the population.

“We feel like our society has been built on the back of small private investors who make investment decisions with clear evidence of their long-term interest in investing in community buildings, farms, green spaces, nursing homes, schools, householders – anything that contributes to a better, fairer future for all,” Thomson said.

The UK economy generates £1bn every day from climate-related environmental policies and businesses, according to the chief economist at the EEF, which represents manufacturers.

Over the last five years, the economy has generated 5.6m new jobs and about 20% of those were in jobs associated with tackling climate change, according to the Carbon Trust.

However, millions of firms remain virtually unable to access finance, meaning they have to invest in inefficient forms of energy such as coal, campaigners say.

The UK is currently ranked 16th out of 62 countries in terms of the share of companies and households with sustainable financing.

In recent years, the government has lured more investors into green finance, including through a helping hand through equity financing schemes.

But the proportion of overall investments in green finance in the UK now stands at just 4%, according to EEF.

The Bank of England last week said it would base future financial stability on a goal of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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