The government has released a statement to announce the launch of a UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment, starting April. The centre will eventually have physical research offices in both London and Leeds that will supply financial institutions with data and analytical information in relation to the environment, and particularly climate change. The institutions anticipated to benefit from the project include banks, investors, issuers and lenders. This move follows in the footsteps of countries such as Germany that have set themselves ambitious goals when it comes to reducing emissions.
“Access to scientifically robust data and analytics is currently patchy and unreliable,” says the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, which will be in charge of the centres. “Armed with better information, underpinned by innovative science, financial institutions around the world will be much better placed to make decisions that contribute to a more sustainable planet.”
The £10 million government project 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,” states a press release. The information will also be used to help innovate new services and products that address the effects of climate change.
The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment is set to utilize the expertise of various UK institutions, including the University of Oxford, Satellite Applications Catapult, the Alan Turing Institute, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Some of these areas of expertise include water, data science, earth systems and engineering.
“The [hubs] will allow financial institutions to access scientifically robust climate and environmental data for any point on planet earth now and projected into the future, and for every major sector of the global economy,” says Ben Caldecott, director and principal investigator behind the project, and Lombard Odier associate professor of sustainable finance at the University of Oxford.
“Doing so will create public goods and unlock innovation. The UK is perfectly placed to transform the availability of climate and environmental data in finance. We have world-leading capabilities in all the various areas that need to come together to solve the problem.”
According to Dennis Obermeier from the German finance management website fitformoney.DE, the green project is set to attract environmentally-conscious talent from around the globe to its hubs in London and Leeds. “It is my hope that the centres will secure UK’s position as a leader in the area of green finance, attracting some of the best minds to the country and creating thousands of new jobs. It is also my hope that it will alleviate some of the environmental risks that could have a huge impact on the UK and the entire world, including floods, extreme weather and loss of biodiversity.”