- What is Green Finance? Green finance or sustainable finance is quite a nebulous term. Simply put it is financial investments flowing into sustainable development projects and initiatives. After some 30 years of working on this issue, there is now a positive momentum for green innovation and investment in the financial sector, and it’s changing how financiers think about traditional investment portfolios, banking, credit and even fintech. For a long time, socially responsible investing and its products were a niche market. Today, awareness is growing and action is starting to scale.
- Is Green Finance the same as Climate Finance? One aspect of green finance is climate finance and there is an urgent need to significantly shift and scale-up investments in low-carbon technologies (solar, wind, electric vehicles etc) and climate-resilient infrastructure. Current investments are far below what is required and this is a cause for concern, since delays can drastically increase the costs of taking action as we get closer to the 1.5 degree mark, it becomes more difficult and expensive to prevent and mitigate climate impacts. The International Energy Agency estimates that US$26 trillion of additional investment is needed in renewables and energy efficiency between 2015 and 2040 to achieve even the two-degree target, and that is just in clean energy efficiency and generation. There is also a target figure in the Paris Agreement of mobilsing $100 billion a year by 2020 by developed countries for developing countries – that does not include the developed world. On top of this, there is a need for energy storage, recycling, smart meters, home insulation and research and development into new technology. Public sector money is unlikely to be able to pay for these totals, so private sector investment is vital (approx 80% of financing will need to come from the private sector).
- Why Public Art? Far more needs to be done to make green finance a living part of financiers workplace culture, as well as in the wider community and urban landscape. Sculpture is one way to embody the ideals which green finance strives to realise.
Why London? The intention is not just to have a green finance sculpture in London. We plan to launch a competition to other financial centres to create the world’s first green finance sculpture. Accelerating green finance is a planetary imperative, not least in the City of London but London has been a source of much of the green finance leadership and current global momentum. In 2016, the City of London Corporation launched its own Green Finance Initiative, building on over two decades of innovation across asset management, banking, capital markets, insurance, regulation and research.
- Will it be a temporary sculpture? We hope that the sculpture will endure as a sustainable symbolic monument itself and be in place 200 years from now. We want the sculpture to be a physical embodiment of green finance, designed to inspire those who see it to deploy the best of finance for the resolving climate change and other sustainability priorities.