Financing a Sustainable Recovery: U.K.’s first local government green bond

On July 17, 2020, West Berkshire Council issued the U.K.’s first local government green bond using the crowd investment platform Abundance. This innovative financing solution is called Community Municipal Investment and targets local citizens to become investors for green projects in their own municipalities. Within a week, GBP 300,000 of the GBP 1 million target was raised through Abundance. The local government green bond issued by West Berkshire Council is the first of six pilot schemes in the U.K.

This Community Municipal Investment product is considered a useful financing instrument to both realize a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and achieve climate targets at the local government level. West Berkshire declared its intention last year to become net zero by 2030 and intends to use proceeds of the green bond for solar power projects, urban tree planting, and nature conservation projects.