Monday, May 13, 2019 7:46 am
Tackling climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for all of us – politicians, businesses and individuals alike.
It is estimated that around US$90 trillion will be needed globally by 2030 to meet the international Sustainable Development and Climate Goals, which is undoubtedly a daunting task. But it’s also a great opportunity.
The UK’s financial and professional services sector is rising to this challenge, with city-based companies playing a crucial role in sharing their expertise and experience in fast-growing areas such as green finance around the world.
Last week I visited Colombia and Brazil – not only two of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, but also two of the largest economies in Latin America. While there, I met the Governor of the Central Bank of Colombia and many other leaders, including from the Banco do Brasil and the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.
A common thread running through all my engagements has been how a leading global financial center like London can help Colombia, Brazil and other emerging countries around the world achieve their economic ambitions.
After all, it would create wealth and lift millions out of poverty without sacrificing our environment.
This is a cross-border challenge that everyone involved in a highly interconnected global ecosystem must face.
Sustainable development is rightly at the heart of Colombia and Brazil as they seek to create an enduring legacy that will benefit future generations. And as always, London’s spirit of innovation means it is in a unique position to work with such nations to leave such a legacy.
There are three main reasons we are able to do this.
First, London is at the forefront of shaping the future of the emerging green financial sector, as evidenced by the fact that we are the world’s largest green bond issuer. We will be presenting this offering at the third Green Finance Summit taking place on July 2nd in Guildhall.
Not only that, we are – secondly – the largest asset management center in Europe, managing £8 trillion, more than the next three countries combined.
Finally, the strength and depth of our expertise in infrastructure finance is unparalleled – the London Stock Exchange, for example, is home to over 480 infrastructure-related companies operating in more than 65 countries. It’s also responsible for almost 40 percent of all foreign exchange trading — more than New York and Tokyo combined.
Our leadership in building the green finance sector, along with the liquidity and extensive experience we have in infrastructure finance, puts London in a unique position to address the challenges facing the Colombian and Brazilian economies and sustainable growth and prosperity to promote.
Not surprisingly, then, Colombian President Duque has identified London as a key ally in the fight against climate change.
Together we can build a global economy where infrastructure finance, and indeed all finance, is green by default.
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