This article was written by Guy Francis.

In a speech delivered at a webinar held by the London Stock Exchange on 17 June, Alok Sharma, the UK Business Secretary and COP26 President, affirmed the UK government’s commitment “to deliver a green recovery” and “to do that in partnership with business and finance”. Mr Sharma laid particular emphasis on the role that finance will play in this initiative, in terms of investment strategies generally, and also in specific areas such as offshore wind, carbon capture and energy-efficient housing .

This is the latest indication of the growing consensus amongst UK policy makers and business regarding the importance of the green economy, including ESG factors. Mr Sharma also repeated the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 lockdown to revitalise initiatives in these areas and “build back better”, acknowledging that the pandemic has made the low carbon economy “more necessary and more important than ever”. This also comes at a time when, over recent years, ESG criteria have formed an increasingly important part of investment and corporate governance policies and in the priorities of corporate stakeholders more broadly.

Many of our clients are now re-appraising and enhancing their ESG strategies and policies. If you require similar assistance in relation to ESG matters or green investments, please contact Camilla Usher-Clark, Simon Tilling or Ross Fairley.