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The UK's ambitious leap: pioneering transition finance for a net zero future

The UK's ambitious leap: pioneering transition finance for a net zero future


The UK Government initiates a Transition Finance Market Review to position the nation as a global sustainability finance hub

In response to the pressing need for substantial investments to meet climate targets – estimated at $4-5 trillion annually globally by the 2030s – the UK Government has taken a bold step towards establishing itself as a frontrunner in transition finance. The Transition Finance Market Review (TFMR), launched in January 2024, marks a pivotal moment in the UK's journey towards becoming a beacon of sustainability-driven finance. As a leading financial and insurance market, legal centre and a significant exporter of professional services, the UK is well placed to develop this opportunity and to become a major hub for funding the global transition.

"There is a great opportunity for the UK to become the global hub for transition finance. The UK has a unique blend of leading financial and professional services and sustainability expertise. There is a real opportunity to become the principal financial market supporting entities across the world as they respond and contribute to a credible, economy-wide transition." - Vanessa Havard-Williams, TFMR Leader

Led by Vanessa Havard-Williams, supported by a panel of advisors, and hosted by the City of London Corporation, the TFMR aims to harness the UK's existing financial prowess and expertise in professional services to facilitate a global transition towards a net-zero future. She is a member of the TPT Delivery Group and co-chaired the Oil and Gas Sector Guidance working group. She chairs the Export Guarantee Advisory Council and is a member of the UK Export Finance board. Vanessa led Linklaters’ sustainability practice until her retirement from the partnership in 2023.

Central to the Review's mission is the solicitation of evidence from a diverse array of stakeholders, including financial institutions, real economy entities, professional service providers, civil society, and international bodies. This inclusive approach seeks to gather insights on how the UK can leverage its strengths to become the premier destination for raising transition capital, investing in sustainability, and accessing essential financial services.

"The UK has an opportunity to develop our world-leading financial services sector to support organisations globally to transition to net zero, and to build confidence in the market by showing how this can be done with credibility and integrity." - Baroness Vere, Treasury Minister for Green Finance

The TFMR underscores the critical importance of ensuring the environmental credibility and integrity of transition finance. By instilling confidence in the market through robust standards and scalable solutions, particularly in hard-to-abate and high-emitting sectors, the UK aims to foster a thriving ecosystem for sustainable investment.

Vanessa Havard-Williams emphasises the UK's unique blend of financial acumen and sustainability expertise, presenting a compelling opportunity for the nation to lead the global transition finance landscape. The call for evidence, open until April 25, 2024, invites input on identifying key opportunities, refining existing frameworks, and delineating the parameters for credible transition finance.

"We have commissioned the Transition Finance Market Review to understand the opportunities and challenges for transition finance activity, and I would particularly encourage all relevant stakeholders to respond to the call for evidence published today." - Baroness Vere, Treasury Minister for Green Finance

With the TFMR poised to deliver its findings to the government in the summer of 2024, the UK is primed to chart a course towards sustainable prosperity. By capitalising on its financial infrastructure and sustainability leadership, the nation aspires to not only meet its climate goals but also inspire global action towards a more resilient and equitable future.