Press release: 25 January 2021
Media reaction: Environmental Audit Committee's letter to the Bank of England
Jamie Sawyer, Climate Finance lawyer at ClientEarth, said:
“We strongly support the Environmental Audit Committee’s assessment that the Bank of England must align its corporate bond purchase scheme (CBPS) with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“In order for the Bank of England to reduce its climate impact, it rapidly needs to decarbonise its corporate bond portfolio. This means immediately excluding bonds from carbon-intensive sectors, and decarbonising its scheme further over time.
“We are calling on the Treasury to confirm in its annual remit and recommendations letter to the Bank of England that it must consider the impact its monetary policy has on climate change, such as the CBPS which finances fossil fuel-intensive companies. This is critical for the UK to achieve its net zero target and show global climate leadership.”
The Environmental Audit Committee has also stressed that companies receiving funds from the Covid Corporate Financing Facility should be required to publish reporting in line with the Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures.
“While this is welcome, the Government should impose additional legally enforceable conditions for bailouts and other forms of public support, including a requirement for companies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and align their businesses with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” added Sawyer.
“Companies should not be receiving public funds without clear climate conditions attached – and the Government should be more transparent about what conditions, if any, have been attached to loans and support to date. This is a crucial step to ensure the UK economy remains resilient in the face of the climate crisis.”
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.