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Investors need clarity on UK low carbon strategy

A new report from a group of institutional investors managing more than €18 trillion in assets has warned that the UK government could fail to attract sufficient investment to build a sustainable low carbon economy.

In An Investable Emissions Reduction Plan, the IIGCC has set out the ‘core principles’ needed for any country to create such an economy and the specific implications for the UK.

ClientEarth welcomes the report. We recently warned the UK was breaching its own Climate Change Act and we work with institutional investors such as pension funds to ensure they are treating climate change as a material financial risk, as the law requires.

ClientEarth lawyer Jonathan Church said: “The IIGCC’s report leaves the UK Government in no doubt about the importance of a credible, stable, long-term policy framework that gives investors the confidence they need to back the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Such a framework is not only required to ensure decarbonisation is pursued cost-effectively – it is also an explicit requirement of the UK’s Climate Change Act.

“Recent policy uncertainty has damaged the climate for investment in the low-carbon sector. This uncertainty is a symptom of the government’s neglect of its world-leading Climate Change Act. Ministers must prove their commitment to that law, and to a sustainable transition to a green UK economy, by publishing the plan called for by the IIGCC. Long-term vision is already long overdue, and in a post-Paris world we cannot afford to see the publication of the Green Growth Plan delayed any longer.”

ClientEarth lawyer Natalie Smith added: “The IIGCC’s report is an important contribution to the debate. Clarity for institutional investors ultimately benefits pension fund members for whom investment decisions are ultimately made.”

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Olivier Miche