Talking green finance with Westminster Business Forum

September 28th, 2021

Thought leaders in the field of green finance came together for a Westminster Business Forum webinar earlier this month to discuss priorities for green and sustainable finance in the UK.

Amro co-founder and head of venture investments, Ami Kotecha, was a guest speaker at the event along with Ed Davey MP, Professor Nick Robins from LSE, Michael Sheren from the Bank of England and other leaders in the field, discussing expertise, best practice and the green taxonomy, regulation and the wider economic and societal impact of sustainable investment.

Ami highlighted the decarbonisation of the UK’s existing building stock as the single largest challenge in achieving our ambitious Net Zero targets, the need for urgency in creating clarity and consistency in policy guidelines and the role that sustainable finance can play as an incentive for operators.

Ami commented: “The gains made so far derive mainly from the ongoing decarbonisation of the national grid and from new build supplies of EPC ‘A’ and ‘B’ rated buildings. Yet we’ve already built around 80% of the stock that will exist in 2050. The main challenges we face are in scaling up action to retrofit our standing stock of buildings, requiring the deployment of substantial capital sums – and defining what exactly constitutes “green” to ensure that we actually reduce and mitigate carbon emissions.

The speakers discussed how the use of design-stage and build-stage accreditations, such as EPCs for homes and BREEAM for projects, is fraught with risk, as they do not provide sufficient insight into actual building performance levels – or leave much room for innovation in how they can be achieved. This lack of clarity is impacting the levels of green discounts offered on lending margins and the availability of affordable green finance in the market. Influencing behavioural change in occupiers also presents significant challenges.

Amro’s response is to focus on an ambitious parallel strategy of decarbonisation and digitisation to deliver our NZC2030 commitment, maintaining a high degree of transparency and strong engagement from our supply chain and customers. We’re currently investing in AI and machine-learning-driven solutions that are essential for scaling up delivery of green retrofits.

Many thanks to Westminster Business Forum for the opportunity to take part in this important discussion. Click here to register for upcoming events.

 

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