Labour to launch review of City’s progress on emissionsJune 24, 2019
Labour is to examine the readiness of City firms to cut carbon emissions and invest responsibly to tackle the climate emergency, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on Monday.
A review into City practices and how investments can be directed to promote technologies that cut carbon emissions will report by October as part of the party’s support for policies tied to the green industrial revolution.
Speaking to City executives in central London, McDonnell said he also wanted the Bank of England to help monitor the City’s progress towards lower carbon emissions. This new responsibility would be on top of Labour’s plan to make the central bank also adopt policies that will boost the productivity of British firms.
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He said: “I am setting up a review group to overview the financial system as it currently relates to the climate emergency, in terms of both where and how it is causing or exacerbating the problem of climate change and where and how it could be providing solutions to problems.”
Labour has already set out wide-ranging plans for a network of regional banks and an enhanced post office network to promote investment.
McDonnell said these institutions would be given the dual role of increasing the level of investment in green technologies and making a profit.
He said the review of the City will cover commercial banks, investment banks, pension funds, hedge funds, private equity and asset managers to cover areas of City that often escape scrutiny.
Labour has put together a panel to review how the government and Bank of England’s new responsibilities can be implemented.
“The UK is and will remain a hub for finance,” he said. “That gives us all the more responsibility to make sure that the lending that takes place here aids the tackling of the climate crisis rather than fuelling it.”
Labour plans to offer a mix of stiffer regulation and tax incentives to promote “large scale beneficial investment” to support the growth of the economy.
“But we will also fulfil our responsibility to ensure adequate policing of investments using the mechanisms available to us to require companies to live up to their climate change responsibilities,” McDonnell said.
Responding to questions about Labour’s stance on Brexit, McDonnell said he would prefer to campaign to remain inside the European Union in a referendum or general election despite representing a constituency that voted to leave the EU.
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