Investors worth £19trn call on Sunak to clarify net zero policies

Net zero policies

Investors with over £19 trillion in assets under management have called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to provide long-term policy certainty to meet the government’s net zero target.

A group of 36 financial institutions, including Ecology, Jupiter Asset Management and Scottish Widows, convened through the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), have written to the PM to express concern at the government’s recent public statements and policy signals.

UKSIF has over 300 members, including investment managers, pension funds, banks, financial advisers, research providers, and NGOs (non-governmental organisations).

The letter warns that policy uncertainty risks undermining the UK’s commitment to net zero, which “blurs regulatory visibility” for investors and risks the ability of the finance sector to make the large-scale investments required to accelerate net zero delivery.

The authors are urging the PM to ensure the UK remains at the “forefront of the global transition to net zero” and “take full advantage of the short and long-term economic benefits that this will bring”.

In July, following an initial announcement that was swiftly deleted, the UK government confirmed it has deferred the extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for a year until October 2025.

Purposeful and predictable policy at home can position the UK financial services sector as a global leader in green investment.

Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) says consistent recycling collections for households will come in after the implementation of the EPR scheme and more details on this will be set out in “due course”.

According to the letter, recent public debates cast uncertainty on the government’s commitment to the UK’s near and longer-term climate targets.

It reads: “We urge the government to provide long-term policy certainty to ensure this objective can be achieved, by making clear that important policy pillars driving investment, like predictable carbon pricing mechanisms, the transition to zero-emissions vehicles, and improved energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector and across the country’s housing stock, will not be changed abruptly.

“This is essential so that our sector can help drive capital towards innovative British companies and infrastructure, and deliver prosperity across the UK, improving productivity, and pay and creating 1.7 million ‘green collar’ jobs.

“Purposeful and predictable policy at home can position the UK financial services sector as a global leader in green investment, driving further prosperity and growth, including in emerging financial services centres outside London.”

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