The Work of the Green Technical Advisory Group

The GTAG finally published a paper on 23/2/23 on ‘Promoting the Interoperability of a UK Green Taxonomy’.
I led one of the working groups, and co-authored much of the first draft – especially the recommendations. The Brilliant GTAG secretariat worked with us and then took over to develop it and make it publishable. We would love people both to read it and feedback their views.

The GTAG has been very busy behind the scenes since it was established, looking at a range of advice for HMT/BEIS and ministers. Unfortunately 2022 was a bad year for action on this front as other pressing priorities for government seemed to delay work on the Taxonomy: Ukraine, high inflation, PM resignations etc all meant that political focus was often elsewhere and new ministers and responsibilities kept revolving. Hopefully things are settled for a bit and we should finally see the taxonomy published for consultation soon. To be clear, writing and ownership the Taxonomy still rests with Government, and as the GTAG we are just advisors trying to help establish effective public policy on a non-partisan basis and pro bono.

Green Technical Advisory Group

The UK Government, working with the Green Finance Institute (an industry-wide group backed by the UK Governments, the banks, the City of London etc) has set up a new Green Technical Advisory Group (GTAG) to give non-binding advice on the development and implementation of the Technical Screening Criteria (TSC) for the UK Green Taxonomy.

When the UK exited the EU, legislation that was already in force automatically became established as UK law (unless specifically repealed) – that included the structure of the EU Green Taxonomy. But the relevant TSC were not then agreed and so not imported and the UK now has to decide its own.

Do we stick or Twist? That is the question!

The GTAG was announced on 9 July 2021 along with the membership and the terms of reference. The chair of the group is the excellent Ingrid Holmes, now at the GFI.

I am privileged to have been asked and appointed to be a member. Buckle in and enjoy the ride.

New book out now! Making the Financial System Sustainable

Available from Cambridge University Press. Enter MFSS2020 at checkout to get 20% off.

The EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth is the most advanced and comprehensive policy agenda on sustainability in the world. But is it going in the right direction? Acting as a bridge between policy and academia, this up-to-date contribution to the global policy debate brings together some of the leading experts from the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, to discuss how the financial system needs to be reformed to promote sustainability. Finance has long been criticized for being short-term focused and concerned with maximizing returns to intermediaries, rather than with the interests of savers and borrowers. The financial system must now take into account environmental, social and governance considerations to support a sustainable economy and this volume offers new insights on the way forward. A must-read for anyone working on financial sector policy and sustainability.

Foreword (Christian Thimann);
Preface (Paul Fisher);
Introduction (Paul Fisher and Kajetan Cyyz);
1. Capitalism meets multilateralism; (Paddy Arber and Steve Waygood)
2. Public meets private: sustainable finance for a sustainable economy;
(Ingrid Holmes)
3. Central banking and climate change; (Kern Alexander and Paul Fisher)
4. Sustainable finance and prudential regulation of financial institutions;
(Esko Kivisaari)
5. Transparency and accountability standards for sustainable and responsible investments; (Flavia Micilotta)
6. Environmental risk analysis by financial institutions;
(Nina Seega and Andrew Voysey)
7. Sustainable governance and leadership;
(Claudia Kruse and Michael Schmidt)
8. ESG risks and opportunities: a fiduciary duty perspective;
(Will Martindale, Elodie Feller and Rory Sullivan)
9. Active and responsible: a cost efficient model for integrating sustainability;
(Magnus Billing and Carina Silberg)
10. Passive-aggressive or just engaged: new active ownership approaches through benchmarks;
(David E. Harris)
11. Financing a just transition: how to connect the environmental and social dimensions of structural change;
(Nick Robins)
12. Sustainable finance for citizens;
(Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore)
13. Individual impact investors: the silenced majority;
(Stan Dupre)
14. Strengthening green finance by better integrating the social dimensions in the EU’s sustainable finance laws.
(Myriam Vander Stichele)

Webinar on the importance of central bank balance sheets

To promote the Masters Degree in Central Banking and Financial Regulation, from the University of Warwick co-sponsored by the Bank of England. We will be holding a webinar on 20th May 2020.

Central bank balance sheets are not well understood – but not only do they define the central bank, they are the most powerful weapon in it’s armoury.

It’s balance sheet enables a central bank to set interest rates, issue bank notes, act as lender of last resort, underpin the banking payments system and control the supply of base money.

In the context of Covid-19, it is the CB balance sheet that is being used to support the real economy, through monetary expansion and the supply of cheap credit. This has echoes for the policy support during the Great Financial Crisis and the sluggish recovery.

If you have questions about what central banks are doing, this is the time and place to ask.