UK Plans to Issue First Green Bond and Require Climate Risk Disclosure

On November 9, 2020, the British Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled green finance plans, proposing to issue the United Kingdom’s first sovereign green bond in 2021 and make climate risk disclosure mandatory for listed major companies from 2025. In a statement to parliament, Sunak said about the green bonds:

“This will be the first in a series of new issuances as we look to build out a green curve over the coming years, helping to fund projects to help tackle climate change, finance much needed infrastructure and investment and create green jobs across this country.”

The Chancellor also announced plans to implement a green taxonomy that could help provide a common framework for determining which activities can be defined as environmentally sustainable. The taxonomy would build on the EU’s efforts in this field. In addition, the government intends to introduce stricter rules on climate risk disclosure for large companies and investors, consistent with the guidelines by the global Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.