Treasury written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to build green infrastructure; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing municipal green bonds issued by local councils as a means of generating finance for green projects.

Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the merits of introducing a green gilt to encourage private investment in regions outside London.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

This Government is committed to building back better and investing in the green infrastructure that will help us to achieve our climate change objectives and level up the country. At the Plan for Jobs 2020, the Government announced an ambitious £3.05 billion package including the Green Homes Grant, designed to aid homeowners and landlords retrofit to upgrade the energy and cost efficiency of their homes. At Spring Budget 2020 the Government announced at least £800 million to support Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in two initial industrial clusters, the first by the mid-2020s and the second by 2030. CCS has the potential to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and factories. And on Tuesday (22 September), Dogger Bank Wind Farm announced the creation of almost 250 jobs in the North East on a project that will be capable of powering up to 4.5m homes when complete.

Our upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy will set out our long-term economic infrastructure ambitions, focusing on decarbonisation and levelling up the nation.

The UK is a global centre for sustainable finance with an established reputation in green finance and a frontrunner in the structuring, underwriting, and listing of green bonds, with more than 100 bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange, raising over $26 billion across eight currencies

The government has been carefully considering the potential issuance of a UK sovereign green bond and will keep this under review. The government remains open to the introduction of new debt instruments, but would need to be satisfied that any new instrument would meet value-for-money criteria, enjoy strong and sustained demand in the long term and be consistent with wider fiscal objectives.

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