By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s export credit agency has said it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its investments by 2050 and increase support for green exports.
The UK Export Finance (UKEF) move follows a pledge made in April to end support for fossil fuel projects overseas and before Britain hosts global climate change talks.
It also follows criticism from activists that state-backed groups are not doing enough to revise their loans.
UKEF has a capacity of Â£ 50 billion to support exports through loans, insurance and guarantees, and has said it will be carbon neutral on a net basis by mid-century, in line with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
UKEF, which provided Â£ 12.3 billion in support to UK businesses over the past year, said it plans to increase financial support for renewable energy-related exports and activities focused on l adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
“We must take urgent action to respond to the threat of climate change in order to have a chance to limit global warming,” Louis Taylor, CEO of UKEF, told Reuters, adding: “We are committed to decarbonizing all our operations and our financial portfolio “.
Demand for green trade is expected to be Â£ 1.8 trillion per year by 2030, generating up to Â£ 170 billion in export sales of goods and services for Britain by 2030, according to report of the Board of Trade published in August.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Alexander Smith)