Photo credit  |  Joao Barbosa on Unsplash

New UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment

News  |  10 March, 2021  |  Reading time: 3 minutes
The UK Government has invested £10m to improve availability of trusted climate data to the green finance sector in a move welcomed by the Bank of England.

Partners in the consortium tasked with developing a UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) include Space4Climate members the Institute for Environmental Analytics, University of Reading, STFC,Acclimatise, Met Office, Satellite Applications Catapult and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) UKRI.

Sarah Breedon, executive sponsor for work on climate change at the Bank of England, said:

“Integrating climate and environmental data and analytics into decision making will allow financial institutions to identify, measure and manage the financial risks and opportunities from climate change, and so support the Bank’s objective to ensure the financial system is resilient to these risks and supportive of the transition to net zero.

“The Bank of England is delighted that the CGFI will support firms’ efforts in this important area, including for the forthcoming Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario.”

CGFI, announced on February 15, 2021, is led by the University of Oxford. It will deliver accessible and trusted science-quality data, including satellite climate data sets, to support evidence-based climate risk assessments, encouraging investment in climate services development. It will provide data infrastructure to support provision of information for the finance sector and will include development of tools that measure storm and flood risk-facing properties or pollution created by companies and the liabilities that result. The centre will have bases in Leeds and London.

The CGFI is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Innovate UK, both part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will work with finance professions, such as the Chartered Banker Institute and CFA UK, to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account in support of reaching net zero.

The initiative will start in April, as the build-up to the COP26 UN world climate change summit gathers pace – it is being held in the UK for the first time, in Glasgow, November 1-12. Green finance and investment are likely to be a key topic as governments discuss progress towards the Paris Agreement and the UK promotes its world-leading expertise in Earth observation and its collaboration on three major upcoming satellite climate data missions – MicroCarb, BIOMASS and TRUTHS.

Dr Ben Caldecott, Director and Principal Investigator of CGFI and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford, said: “CGFI will allow financial institutions to access scientifically robust climate and environmental data for any point on planet Earth now and projected into the future, and for every major sector of the global economy. Doing so will create public goods and unlock innovation.

“The UK is perfectly placed to transform the availability of climate and environmental data in finance. We have world-leading capabilities in all the various areas that need to come together to solve the problem.”