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Mansion House speech

Sunak’s green vision for UK’s financial services

Rishi Sunak: ‘creating prosperity’

A £15 billion package of green gilts together with new green savings bonds will help fund a range of UK government environmental projects. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak offered the first glimpse of the long-awaited green finance deal ahead of his debut Mansion House speech today when he will outline his vision for an “advanced and exciting” financial services hub.

The gilts will be issued this year, and the green savings bond, offered by NS&I, will go on sale ahead of COP26 in November.

Green projects such as zero-emission buses, offshore wind, and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings, will be eligible for funding, along with climate change adaptation programmes like flood defences, and projects to boost biodiversity and natural resources, such as tree planting.

Mr Sunak will announce new Integrated Sustainability Disclosures Requirements, which will require companies to report the impact they are having on the climate and environment, as well as the risks and opportunities facing their businesses.

In a world-first, he will commit the UK to reporting on the social benefits of the projects funded by the green bonds, so investors will have data on the number of jobs created and SMEs or households who have benefited.

The annual speech by the Chancellor and the governor of the Bank of England would normally take place in the evening at a formal dinner in the City. Because of social distancing restrictions, there will be a gathering of about 40 during the day.

Mr Sunak will tell his audience of young leaders and CEOs that he wants to make Britain the world’s “most advanced and exciting” financial services hub.

He is expected to say:” “As the baton passes to a new generation of leaders in finance, I feel optimistic about the future. Ambitious at home. Confident internationally.

“With a plan to make this country the world’s most advanced and exciting financial services hub for decades to come, creating prosperity at home and projecting our values abroad.”

End of coal power

Separately, the government has pledged to end coal power production by 2024, a year earlier than planned.

Alan Whitehead, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Energy and a Green New Deal, said: “It’s good news that the government has committed to accelerating the transition away from coal generated power. But ambition must be backed up by the policies needed to deliver the pledge. 

“And crucially, having flirted with proposals for a new coal mine for months, the government must ensure it practises what it preaches and does not allow a new deep coal mine to be opened in the UK. Failure to do so would critically undermine our international credibility.”

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