Ecology responds to the report of the Green Finance Taskforce29 March 2018
The Green Finance Taskforce has published its report to the UK Government, Accelerating Green Finance. The Taskforce was set up in autumn 2017 to achieve three key goals:
- To help deliver the investment needed to meet the UK’s Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy
- To further consolidate the UK’s leadership in financing international clean investment; and
- To maximise the opportunities to be had for UK businesses in this rapidly growing area.
The Taskforce’s report contains 30 recommendations, including a number to support green lending, under 10 overarching themes ‘geared towards unlocking the private capital needed to make green finance more widely available throughout society.’
Responding to the Taskforce’s report, Paul Ellis, Chief Executive of Ecology Building Society said,
“If we are to meet our Paris climate change commitments, finance needs to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Housing and the built environment makes up more than a quarter of our carbon emissions so we urgently need measures that deliver energy-efficiency improvements – whether that’s retrofitting our existing housing stock or building zero carbon homes.
“We’ve been providing sustainable mortgages for more than thirty years, offering innovative discounts that incentivise the most energy efficient projects and properties. While it’s positive to see that recommendations to develop the green mortgage market take centre stage in the Taskforce’s report, it is important that any approach taken to ‘pump-prime’ green lending offers more than merely a short term subsidy that fails to create a long-term, sustainable solution and, we learn from previous initiatives such as the Green Deal.
“We also question the additional benefit of green tagging lenders’ loan books if, in practice, it does not extend beyond referencing EPCs given that, as the Taskforce has acknowledged, we already have a well-established EPC register in the UK.
“All our lending already takes green factors into account so we welcome the proposals to increase the visibility of EPCs during the mortgage process.
“Finally, it’s encouraging to see fiscal measures such as stamp duty reform being actively considered which would help spur homeowners to take action.”
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