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Decarbonisation of the UK Economy and Green Finance inquiry


The Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into the decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance. This inquiry will scrutinise the role of HM Treasury, regulators and financial services firms in supporting the Government’s climate change commitments. It will also examine the economic potential of decarbonisation for the UK economy in terms of job creation and growth.

Terms of Reference

This inquiry will cover:

  • The economic opportunity that decarbonisation presents for the UK, and the potential of the green finance sector
  • HMT’s strategy in facilitating clean growth and its response to the CCC’s net-zero recommendations
  • The role of the Spending Review in facilitating net-zero
  • The role that financial services firms are currently playing in financing the transition
  • The 'green' financial product landscape and their associated regulatory environment.

Some of the key questions the Committee will consider in this inquiry include:

The economic opportunity

What economic costs and benefits does decarbonisation present for the UK?

What benefits can a growth of the Green Finance sector deliver for the UK, and does the UK hold a competitive advantage in this space?

How might HMT deliver a regionally balanced and ‘just’ transition across the UK?

HMT's strategy

What is HMT’s current strategy, and approach to, UK decarbonisation, and is it fit for purpose?

How does HMT work with the Clean Growth Strategy and government departments to support decarbonisation? Is this working well?

How should HMT’s approach evolve to ensure the Government meets the legally binding carbon budgets (and the net-zero targets, if applicable[2])?

What role should the 2019 Comprehensive Spending Review play in UK decarbonisation? What projects or measures should receive additional funds through this process?

Green finance

What role do UK financial services firms currently play in the decarbonisation of the economy, (for example, through stewardship, capital allocation to green projects, green financial products)? What more can they do?

What steps have UK banks, asset managers, and pension funds taken to ‘green’ their business models, investments strategies and balance sheets, taking in to account climate and transition risks?

Are there any barriers (regulatory or otherwise) preventing financial services firms from delivering green finance or investing in ‘green’ assets?

What prudential risks does climate change pose?

What is the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority doing to support decarbonisation and a ‘greening’ of the financial system?

What expectations do (and should) they place on regulated firms about their role in the transition through their policy and supervisory activities?

What is the consumer demand for ‘green’ financial products?

Are there a range of accessible options available to consumers seeking to source ‘green’ financial products across the product suite (for example, mortgages, bonds, investment products, savings accounts, loans)? Do certain instruments dominate the green finance landscape, and if so, why?

Do accompanying documents for ‘green’ instruments (bonds, funds, etc) articulate why and how the composite holdings within that instrument are ‘green’? Are obligations placed upon listed companies, to report their carbon emissions, to inform fund composition?

Does the current advice and KYC process effectively facilitate a consideration of sustainability preferences?

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