Many constituents want to see finance used to promote environmentally friendly policies, such as encouraging more homes to be built with higher energy standards.
This green agenda within financial services is an issue I am promoting in my role as UK Financial Services Minister, including by co-chairing a Government task force on green finance.
A positive step forward this week in using finance to help the environment was achieved when I joined Barclays Bank at the London Stock Exchange to launch the first green bond financed by a British bank using UK assets. This was made possible by the Government working in partnership with the industry to ensure data is available on houses with higher energy ratings.
The green bond market, where securities are used to fund climate-friendly activities, has grown rapidly over recent years, raising $95bn in 2016. The Barclay’s issuance has received certification from the Climate Bonds Initiative which allows investors, governments and other stakeholders to prioritise ‘low carbon and climate resilient’ investments, with confidence that the funds are being used to deliver these outcomes.
I hope to see many more green finance initiatives brought forward over the next year as we take forward the work of the green finance taskforce.