Ahead of the Budget today, HM Treasury announced on Saturday that the UK is to launch the world’s first sovereign green savings bond for retail investors. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would give retail investors the “opportunity to contribute to the collective effort to tackle climate change”.
He said last week: “The UK is a global leader on tackling climate change, with a clear target to reach net zero by 2050 and a Ten Point Plan to create green jobs as we transition to a greener future.
“In a world first, we’re launching a new green savings bond which will give people across the UK the opportunity to contribute to the collective effort to tackle climate change.
“And we’re also launching new competitions that will unlock innovation in renewable energy and help us develop the cutting-edge technology we need to reach net zero.”
HM Treasury said it means UK savers will have the opportunity to buy bonds in the knowledge they are contributing towards projects that will accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy, create green jobs and support the collective effort to tackle climate change, whilst saving money at the same time.
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The funds which are raised via the bonds are to be earmarked for projects such as renewable energy and clean transportation.
The Treasury said this will help the UK “build back greener” and to meet its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Further details will be set out in the coming months.
The product is expected to go on sale later this year.
The Chancellor is expected to announce this move at Budget today, as well as the launch of three new green innovation programmes.
This new green savings bond is going to be offered through the Treasury-backed savings provider NS&I – which stands for National Savings and Investments.
NS&I is the home of Premium Bonds, and also offers other savings products.
Bruce Davis, co-founder and MD of Abundance Investment, said this week: “The proposed Green National Savings Bond will be an important boost to the UK’s efforts to invest in a greener economy, and a powerful sign of our leadership globally because the bond is open to all citizens, not just big corporates.
“This move follows the pioneering work of the West Berkshire and Warrington councils who last year successfully launched their own green bonds to their residents and the wider UK public.
“More proof that green investing is now a mainstream choice, and will only get more so.
“We hope the Chancellor will listen to both the Green Finance Institute and LSE Grantham Institute’s advice that the money raised from these bonds should go towards ensuring a just transition to a NetZero economy.
“It’s also notable that as the UK economy seeks to recover, green investment bonds offer a radically healthier alternative to wild consumer spending post-lockdown that will fuel self-destructive inflation.”
Elsewhere ahead of the Budget statement, it was announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – which is also known as the furlough scheme – will be extended.
The scheme was due to come to an end in April, however it will remain in place until the end of September – although some changes will apply.
Ahead of the Budget, he said: “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.
“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”