The UK has this month joined the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF). This signals a welcome commitment to strengthening international co-operation in tapping into global financial markets to finance the transition to low carbon economies.
And this transition really does need to be a worldwide one. Covid-19 has reminded us in a new way of how we are inextricably linked across the globe. In order to have any chance of meeting this great challenge of a global transition, we need to work together.
A great challenge needs to be met by much innovation and co-operation, but also a lot of funding!
The UK's signing up to the IPSF is a clear indication of Global Britain positioning itself as a potential primary source of global private capital. No doubt other members such as China, India, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, and of course the EU, plus a few others, would to some extent share that aim.
There's no lack of political activity within the UK around the low carbon agenda and the extension of green finance.
We have the Ten Point Plan, the National Infrastructure Strategy, the Climate Change Committee, the UK Energy White Paper, the Scottish Government Energy Policy and more. And just last week, the UK Energy Minister announced that Leeds and London will be home to a new centre for driving global green finance and investment (the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment) .
Nowhere to be seen so far, however, is an articulation of how public and private funding will be fused together to deliver within the next few years the dramatic changes in everyday life that will be required to meet climate change targets.
Global private markets can provide liquidity for any investible proposition that is proven at a commercial scale, but where are the funding mechanisms to achieve this investment ready status and capture the available liquidity to funnel towards low carbon initiatives?
What will it take to find private funding for new nuclear power plants? What enabling actions, not necessarily subsidies, will need to be provided for large scale renovation of public housing?
The answers will probably come down to individual countries pursuing initiatives and, where successful, these solutions being exported as with the PPP model, rather than attempting to achieve consensus between each other on the way forward.
So all good wishes for the IPSF. But let's also forge ahead and develop our own models.