Reasons why Guernsey’s going green

15 May 2019

Written by Dr Andy Sloan Guernsey Finance

Ahead of discussing the issue at City Week 2019 in London next week, Guernsey Finance Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, Dr Andy Sloan, explains why Guernsey is pursuing green finance as a specialism and how the Guernsey Green Fund works.

  • With the high-profile involvement of David Attenborough, Extinction Rebellion, and Greta Thunberg, there’s no bigger issue in 2019 than climate change. Green finance, Guernsey Green Finance, is about financing climate change mitigation projects. It is Guernsey’s contribution to global good.

  • Roughly 2.5% of global GDP annually needs to be invested in the energy system up to 2034 to reduce global temperatures by 1.5C. It’s always big numbers and they don’t diminish as we put things off – they just get bigger. But despite the latest warnings of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), many remain oblivious to the scale of the task ahead. The numbers are big, but they probably still underplay the scale of impact of the issue we face.

  • As a jurisdiction we are committed to strategic action on sustainable finance. Our specific initiative, Guernsey Green Finance, is a member of the United Nations’ Finance Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) network; and last year we created the world’s first regulated regime for green funds.
  • Guernsey’s comprehensive commitment to green finance is an approach that complements and supports the UK management industry, and is an approach that should enable us to create the broadest and deepest green and sustainable finance ecosystem.

  • Last year we launched the Guernsey Green Fund. One of the major issues we recognised when researching the market was a dearth of genuine product. It is still, to our knowledge, the only regulated investment fund regime for green assets globally, offering market confidence in the product from the regulatory wrapper.

  • With the Guernsey Green Fund, we are looking to create a global benchmark, a standard where investors have confidence in the assets due to the certification, and demand them in their portfolio as they contribute to climate change mitigation. It is a genuine goal and I believe it is achievable.

  • The interest has been great so far. The first Guernsey Green Fund raised extra capital off the back of the announcement. We also recently added our first London-listed fund to the green fund stable, and more will follow.
     
  • And there’s more to offer in green from Guernsey – The International Stock Exchange has launched a green section on the exchange, while the island is also looking to make a contribution to the debate on the development of green insurance.
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