In the UK, investment levels remain at less than half needed to meet our carbon budgets. The challenge is not lack of capital, but a lack of confidence. We need a policy framework that makes investment in low carbon energy generation infrastructure attractive, to boost private spending and growth, create jobs and generate higher tax revenues for government.
The Green Investment Bank, for which the Aldersgate Group argued consistently, has played an important role in raising finance for novel green infrastructure projects. Upcoming reforms must protect its environmental mission and its effectiveness at investing in projects, which struggle to attract sufficient mainstream private sector investment.
The Aldersgate Group argues that the UK government and regulators must ensure that the full impact of investments is reflected in reporting, so the full social and environmental costs and future carbon risks are reflected in businesses’ bottom lines, allowing markets to act on those figures. Policy makers need to improve the profitability of sustainable businesses relative to unsustainable ones.
As part of its involvement in the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) led by the University of Surrey, the Aldersgate Group is running a one-year project on green finance, considering the barriers and solutions to greater private investment in green infrastructure to meet the UK’s environmental objectives.