UKSIF challenges UK to lead on ESG standards

7 May, 2021

New Policy Vision sets high expectations for the UK as minister urges asset managers to step up their engagement.

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has urged the UK government to accelerate its push toward sustainable finance as part of its net zero goals.  City Minister and Economic Secretary to the Treasury said, “the transition to sustainable finance is well underway and it is irreversible”.

UKSIF, whose more than 260 members oversee £10tn in assets launched its new Policy Vision with recommendations for government, regulators and the finance sector at its 30th Anniversary event on 28th April.

CEO James Alexander outlined eight challenge areas including making the UK a leader on ESG standards; facilitating a net zero future; building a green economy at home; safeguarding our natural environment; supporting a just transition; encouraging diversity and inclusion; sustainability in pensions and savings; and, promoting sustainability and resilience abroad.

In response to a question from Minerva, Alexander stressed the importance of going beyond carbon to consider biodiversity in investment decisions. He confirmed that UKSIF supports the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure as the leader in the space that the government should support.

Responding to the Policy Vision, John Glen MP said, “I am committed to the UK being the best place in the world for green and sustainable investment, and the government is doing what it can to achieve this”. He also called upon financial services firms to make their own net zero commitments, join the newly launched Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ), and increase engagement for investee transitions to net zero.

The new Policy Vision from UKSIF raises expectations for the UK to define what net zero means for each sector of the economy and each department of government.

Last Updated: 7 May 2021