A more strategic approach to climate risks is needed by UK policymakers, particularly in the area of resilience, according to Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the UK government’s Environment Agency and interim Chair of the Green Finance Institute. Speaking at the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment Annual Forum at The Institution of Civil Engineers, Howard Boyd called on HM Treasury to commission a review to “assess the economics of [climate] resilience”. The review should consider the costs and benefits of resilient investment nationally and within sectors, the trajectory that investments should follow, and the appropriate balance between public and private investment, she said. “It would help to establish an overarching ambition for adaptation investment and a plan to achieve it,” Howard Boyd noted. She further pointed out that widespread greenwashing is compromising efforts to mitigate the future impacts of climate change, warning that failure to address greenwashing will generate “false confidence that we are already addressing the causes and treating the symptoms of the climate crisis”, potentially putting investors at risk. Organisations such as ShareAction, Make My Money Matter and ClientEarth were praised for their ongoing efforts to call out greenwashing from companies and investors. “Environmental regulation must work in lockstep with financial regulation to ensure incentives and penalties have enough clout to drive change,” Howard Boyd said.
UK Resilience Strategy Needed to Boost Adaptation Investment – EA Chair
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