London ranked as global leader in green finance movement

London has been ranked as the best financial hub in the world for green financing offerings, with a new report predicting that the market for green offers will grow "substantially in size and quality".

A new Global Green Finance Index (GGFI) was launched by Z/Yen and Finance Watch last week, ranking the world’s financial centres in accordance to the quality, delivery and depth of green financial services and offering.

The report noted that Western Europe outperformed all other regions, with London heading up the global index across all metrics. San Francisco, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Mexico City, and Moscow were also highlighted as regional leaders.

Finance Watch’s secretary general Benoît Lallemand said: “The GGFI aims to contribute to the definition of green finance and identify best practices and areas for improvement. We hope it will promote bold policy initiatives and high-quality financing that can cut through greenwash. It is urgent that sustainable finance becomes mainstream in all financial centres.”

Paris, Frankfurt and New York were noted as centres most likely to grow across the rankings over the next two to three years. In fact, the report noted that globally the level of scores could grow substantially.

Growth is likely to be driven by supportive policy measures, while a growing interest amongst investors, steered by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), is also seen as a major driver.

UN Environment’s co-director of the inquiry into the design of a sustainable financial system added: “Ratings and indexes are important instruments to enable effective communication of relative and absolute progress, as well as encouraging a race to the top, and a healthy debate of what constitutes success and how it can best be measured.

“In this spirit, Finance Watch and Z/Yen have taken us all to the next level in providing us with the first globally applicable index of developments in greening the world’s financial centres.”

Green Finance Taskforce

In the UK, Government launched a Green Finance Taskforce to assist the low-carbon economy and boost the UK’s position as a “world leader” in clean growth investment.

Top financial experts from Aviva, Barclays, HSBC, Legal & General, and the Bank of England will work alongside academics and sustainability experts to accelerate private sector funding in green technologies, infrastructure and innovative start-ups.

The recent Clean Growth Strategy created a multi-billion-pound framework for low-carbon growth, but the UK Government is still keen to strengthen relationships with investors to tackle the “hard and challenging” times ahead.

ShareAction research report suggests that the UK Government should be mirroring regulation in France, if it truly wants to bolster green finance opportunities.

Matt Mace

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