London, Jul 1 (PTI) UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday delivered a major speech in which he laid out his plans for the country’s green sovereign and savings bonds to be launched later this year.
The senior Indian-origin Cabinet minister said the bonds are part of his financial strategy to strengthen the UK’s position as the best place in the world for green finance.
'We’re giving the public the opportunity to invest in the government’s green initiatives through NS&I’s (National Savings and Investments bank) world-first Green Savings Bonds,' said Sunak, in a traditional speech delivered by the Chancellor at the Mansion House in London.
'We’re issuing the UK’s debut Sovereign Green Bond in September, with the framework published committing us to the most ambitious approach of any major sovereign,' he said.
Under the framework, green projects like zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings will be eligible for funding, with at least 15 billion pounds of green gilts issued this financial year alone. The Sovereign Green Bond, also known as a Green Gilt, is planned as giving both investors and savers across the UK the opportunity to join the 'collective fight against climate change'.
'Financial services don’t just generate prosperity at home. They give us the economic power to project our values on the global stage,' said Sunak.
'More open, more competitive, more technologically advanced, and more sustainable – that is our vision for financial services. The Roadmap we are publishing today sets out a detailed plan for the next few years – and I look forward to delivering it, together,” he added.
The minister also revealed that a post-Brexit financial services deal with the European Union (EU) 'has not happened' but that the UK has greater freedom to plan its global finance cooperation as a non-member of the economic bloc.
'Now, we are moving forward, continuing to cooperate on questions of global finance, but each as a sovereign jurisdiction with our own priorities,” he said.
'We now have the freedom to do things differently and better, and we intend to use it fully… The EU will never have cause to deny the UK access because of poor regulatory standards,' he added.
In the important speech, Sunak acknowledged the role of the financial services sector in the UK, contributing 76 billion pounds in taxes annually and employing 2.3 million people. PTI AK ZH ZH