Launch of new UK initiative to help mobilise private investment into nature

by | Dec 7, 2021

GFI Hive will share technical knowledge on investing in nature to help meet the UK’s net zero and nature-positive ambitions, identifying barriers and co-designing solutions for scalable and replicable private investment in nature.

London, 7 December, 2021 – The Green Finance Institute today launches a new online knowledge resource, GFI Hive, designed to share the latest information and insights on how to increase private investment in nature restoration and nature-positive outcomes in and for the UK.

With initial funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, GFI Hive will share technical knowledge and best practice on investing in nature and nature-based solutions to support the mobilisation of private capital into the sector and meet the UK’s net zero and nature-positive ambitions. Among the resources provided will be in-depth case studies of successful transactions (both domestic and international), research reports, insights, podcasts, webinars and events. The inaugural podcast features Sir Dieter Helm, former Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.

In addition to serving as a resource to drive investor understanding and appetite, GFI Hive will convene the finance sector, government, business, academia, land managers and other environmental stakeholders to identify barriers and co-design solutions for scalable and replicable private investment in nature in the UK. This comes at a critical time as demand for pathways to support the flow of capital into nature-positive outcomes continues to accelerate following COP26 in Glasgow and COP15, the UN Biodiversity Conference, earlier this year.

The Finance Gap for UK Nature report, published in October 2021, highlighted the need for private investment in nature in addition to public sector funding and identified an estimated £44 billion to £97 billion funding gap requirement to meet the UK’s key nature-related goals over the next decade. These include natural flood management, transitioning agriculture to sustainable and regenerative processes, urban greening, reforestation, and peatland and marine habitat restoration. In collaboration with the finance sector, GFI Hive will seek to develop specific financing solutions to help meet these goals.

GFI Hive can be found by following this link.

Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, chief executive at the Green Finance Institute, said:

“Financial institutions have recognised there is not only a demand, but also an opportunity for them to invest in the natural environment. Significant barriers need to be unlocked, however, if we hope to drive capital into nature restoration and nature-based solutions – not least a gap in knowledge. GFI Hive will bridge this gap by providing a platform to share international best practices and to convene stakeholders in the UK with the goal of co-designing practical solutions to support these commitments.”

Emma Howard Boyd CBE, interim chair of the Green Finance Institute and chair of the Environment Agency, said:

“COP26 left no doubt about the scale of action needed on the ground to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. With 450 financial institutions managing $130 trillion of assets committed to hitting net zero emissions targets by 2050, people want to understand how money can be invested in nature to drive down emissions, invest in climate adaptation and deliver a return at pace. GFI Hive will share information that helps investors see what actually works, as well as supporting innovative and high integrity pathways to driving private capital into nature, such as the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, which the Environment Agency working with the GFI have successfully brought to market.”

Dame Caroline Mason, chief executive Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, said:

“We need to see a step change in nature recovery across the UK, with projects that deliver great outcomes for communities and nature being able to access appropriate new sources of finance at scale.  GFI Hive, as a convening platform and knowledge sharing hub, will help remove barriers to financing these types of projects.”

Helen Avery, director, nature programmes and GFI Hive at the Green Finance Institute, said:

“It is our mission at GFI Hive to provide the resources and support needed to increase private investment in nature restoration, nature-based solutions and nature-positive outcomes in and for the UK. While GFI Hive launches today, now the real work begins and we look forward to partnering with the finance sector, government, business and environmental stakeholders, including GFI Hive’s seed funder, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, to build content and help deliver the scalable investments urgently needed.”