- UK Transition Plan Taskforce launched by the Economic Secretary in speech at City Week.
- Taskforce will develop rigorous and robust measures to tackle greenwashing and support certain UK firms to establish investable and accountable transition plans.
- Launch follows Chancellor’s commitment at COP26 to make the UK the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre.
Today (25th April) HM Treasury formally launched a new UK Transition Plan Taskforce, to develop the gold standard for UK firms’ climate transition plans. The new regime being developed by the Taskforce will require UK financial institutions and listed companies to develop and publish rigorous and robust transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards a net-zero economy by 2050. The Taskforce’s launch forms part of the Chancellor’s commitment at COP26 – where he set out proposals to make the UK the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Co-Chair of the Transition Plan Taskforce said: “I am delighted that the Transition Plan Taskforce is now up and running, supporting the Chancellor’s ambition to become the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre. “It brings together an impressive range of forward-thinking stakeholders to ensure firms can put together plans to aid our transition to a low-carbon economy. “The UK is a world leader in Green Finance: having established the world’s first retail Green Savings Bonds, raised £16 billion in Green Gilts last year alone to fund projects such as offshore wind, and becoming the first major economy to commit to net zero by 2050.”
Amanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva plc and Co-Chair of the Transition Plan Taskforce said: “Everyone in the UK will be touched by the climate crisis, so all of us depend on shifting the economy to net zero as soon as possible. Preventing the worst impacts of climate change will take all businesses developing ambitious, consistent transition plans to get us to a low carbon future. I’m delighted to be co-chairing this crucial work alongside the Economic Secretary and hope that the UK will set the gold standard, for everyone’s benefit.” Climate transition plans will support a range of use cases, including the development of sustainability-linked instruments and investor stewardship, as well as financial regulation and corporate strategy. Under the rules announced by the Chancellor at COP26, the UK Government is requiring large companies and certain financial sector firms to publish a transition plan from 2023. These new requirements will build on the latest implementing guidance of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The Taskforce is led by a Steering Group of private and public sector leaders, co-chaired by Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen and CEO of Aviva Amanda Blanc. It is supported by a Delivery Group of senior experts from across industry, academia and civil society. The Secretariat for the TPT is provided by the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) and climate change think tank E3G.
Sacha Sadan, Director of ESG, Financial Conduct Authority, said: “We are delighted to join the Transition Plan Taskforce and will work with it to promote global consistency and comparability in the disclosure of transition plans. We expect to draw on the Taskforce’s outputs to encourage well-governed and credible transition plans, building on existing TCFD guidance which we have already integrated into our climate-related disclosure rules for listed companies and regulated firms.”
Mary Schapiro, Vice Chair, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and Head of the Secretariat, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), said: “By requiring the publication of transition plans, the UK has set forth an ambitious agenda to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. The UK Transition Plan Taskforce will help bring transparency to net zero targets, ensuring accountability and that meaningful progress is achieved. I look forward to participating in the Taskforce by building upon the foundation of the TCFD framework and ensuring alignment with the ongoing efforts of GFANZ.”
Tanya Steele, WWF UK’s Chief Executive, said: “Private sector commitments to Net Zero must be backed up by credible, science-based plans that will underpin the Government’s ambition to make the UK the world’s first Net Zero Finance Centre. We know other financial centres around the world will be watching the progress of this Taskforce’s ground-breaking work. “The UK’s development of world-leading transition plans will spur greater climate action, here and globally. It must set the benchmark for ambition in the race to protect us against the devastating impacts climate change and nature loss are having on people’s lives and livelihoods – and on the natural world around us.”
Michael Izza, CEO, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, said: “Corporate transition planning is probably the key issue for 2022, and while we’ve had a whirlwind period of net zero commitments, now is the time to understand what the actual implications are in terms of strategy, targets and implementation. “The UK has the opportunity to lead the way on turning ambition into action and, following my appointment to the taskforce, I look forward to playing a part in making that happen.”