UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will present plans on carbon emissions in a speech at COP26. (To file)


UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will announce plans to make Britain the world’s leading net zero financial services hub by 2050, the Treasury said on Tuesday.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will outline the plans on carbon emissions in a speech at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow on Wednesday morning.

Sunak will unveil proposals for financial institutions and listed companies operating primarily in Britain to be required to publish net zero transition plans.

He will also propose the creation of a working group of experts to develop a “gold standard” for such decarbonisation plans, in order to avoid what is called greenwashing.

Next year, the government will publish more detailed policies and interim targets for the transition.

Sunak will describe the pledges as “historic,” saying they will help fund the shift from coal, the switch to electric cars and tree planting, his department said.

Wednesday will be Finance Day at the UN summit, with a program of events for finance ministers, central bank governors and heads of financial institutions.

The Treasury said it would be the “biggest meeting of finance leaders on climate change ever.”

A fact sheet on Sunak’s proposals clarified that companies would not be required to commit to net zero and that they could have different goals.

He also said that investments in carbon-intensive activities would still be allowed.

Sunak will also welcome commitments from more than 450 global financial sector companies with more than $ 130 trillion (£ 95 trillion) in assets to align with the climate goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

This commitment stems from a sector initiative called the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero launched in April and chaired by Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England and now the United Nations Special Envoy for Action and Finance climatic.

The Paris Agreement adopted after historic talks in 2015 set an ambitious target to cap global warming at “well below” 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and at 1.5 ° C if possible .

The amount of carbon emissions from the UK financial sector exceeded the net annual output of most countries in 2019 due to global investments, according to a study by environmental groups including Greenpeace in May.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)


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