City of London ,

City launches initiative to make London the world leader in Green Finance

Leading figures from the world of finance will today (14 January) gather in the City for the launch of the Green Finance Initiative, which aims to make London the world leader in green finance.

The Green Finance Initiative aims to improve the financing options for sustainable infrastructure projects and support the sector’s development.

Experts believe there will soon be a £100 billion-a-year market in green bonds to finance sustainable infrastructure projects and both the City of London Corporation and the Government are determined London will be the centre of this market.

The initiative is being launched by the City of London Corporation, who will use the City’s convening power and close relationship with industry to find practical ways to support the market.

A similar initiative to support the development of London’s Renminbi markets led to huge successes such as a growth in trade volumes of 600% since 2011, a government issued RMB bond, and the sale of more than $1 billion dual currency bonds in London by the Agricultural Bank of China by 2015.

To ensure that the initiative is focused and takes practical steps, the City convened a breakfast attended by industry experts to find out which issues they felt needed tackling most urgently. Following their advice, the first phase of the GFI will focus exclusively on three issues:

  • Improving the flow of projects generating green bonds in the UK and advocating for the development of a low-carbon infrastructure strategy.
  • Enhancing transparency and accreditation standards so that market participants can have greater confidence in green products.
  • Better informing and incentivising the market, including through educational materials and assessing potential market incentives.

Members of the initiative will be drawn from banks, insurers, accountants, academics, regulators, and government. Sir Roger Gifford, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London and a director at SEB; Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP; Ma Jun, Chief Economist of the People’s Bank of China; Nick Robins, Co-director of the UNEP Inquiry into the design of a sustainable financial system; and the Rt Honourable the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Lord Mountevans, will all be speaking at the launch event, along with other industry figures.

Speaking ahead of the launch, The Lord Mayor said: “Following the important COP21 conference in Paris, this is a crucial time to build on the momentum of green finance, and it’s vital that industry is involved in this. Our initiative aims to support the market through practical action, allowing both London and the Green Finance industry to benefit from the exciting new opportunities in the market.”

Sir Roger Gifford, chair of the Green Finance Initiative, said “The City of London Corporation is determined that 2016 be the year in which policymakers and practitioners convene to drive the long-term development of the UK’s green finance sector. As the UN Environment Programme put it so clearly, the financial system we need is one that fully supports and facilitates the transition toward a low-carbon economy, and we believe London can play a leading role in this process.”

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "2016 is set to be the year of green finance. Across the world, we are seeing a growing number of countries aligning their financial systems with the sustainability imperative. I wholeheartedly welcome this new green finance initiative from the City of London, the first of what’s likely to be a very busy year.”

Media Enquiries

Bella Longman, Media Officer – Planning & Financial Services, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1906 / Mobile: 07809 334 327


To attend the event on 14 January please contact Bella.

About the City of London Corporation 

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

(1) We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

(2) We also help look after key London’s heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London.

(3) We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach.