UK Government announces a sovereign green bond

by | Nov 9, 2020

The Green Finance Institute, Impact Investing Institute and the LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment are delighted to welcome the UK Government’s announcement today at the Green Horizon Summit, to issue a sovereign green bond.

We applaud the Government for taking this important step, which delivers on plans to move towards a resilient, net-zero carbon economy that will bring a range of positive social benefits such as creating green collar jobs, skills and regional revitalisation.

This green bond is a fantastic response to the investment community’s growing demand for investments that help secure a zero-carbon future. Our joint proposal for a Green+ Gilt, which was presented to Her Majesty’s Government in October, has received the public support of 40 asset owners and investors, representing organisations with assets under management of more than £10 trillion, and influential business representative groups such as the London Stock Exchange, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Church of England Pension and the Environment Agency Pension Fund. This shows the enthusiasm of private sector capital and the business community to help the UK reach its climate goals.

The Government’s green sovereign bond will reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in sustainable finance ahead of its hosting of COP-26 and the G7 summit and will underpin economic recovery as the country moves through the current pandemic.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive of the Green Finance Institute, says: “This Green Gilt is essential in maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader in green and sustainable finance. The finance community has been keen to see the UK Government take this step, as there is growing demand for investments that will secure a zero-carbon future. This Green Gilt will not only be able to provide finance for green infrastructure, it will create green jobs and catalyse the sterling green bond market. It is a very welcome development as we countdown to COP26 that will bolster the green recovery.”

Sarah Gordon, Chief Executive of the Impact Investing Institute, says: “There has never been a more important moment for the UK government to show leadership in sustainable finance, and to respond to investors’ desire to invest in a sustainable, green recovery. A Green Gilt will demonstrate the City’s credentials in this increasingly important market, and provide an example for businesses and local authorities to follow.”

Nick Robins, Professor in Practice – Sustainable Finance at the Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, says: “A UK Green Gilt will be a powerful mechanism to mobilise private capital for key national priorities on climate action and recovery from COVID-19. It will be a powerful signal to companies and communities of the potential to use finance to enable a just transition to a sustainable economy.  It will also open up new avenues for international cooperation on sovereign bonds in the run-up to COP26.” 


For media enquiries please contact:
Green Finance Institute, Sophie Morello,
Impact Investing Institute, Stephanie Dawoud,
Grantham Research Institute, Niamh Brannigan

About the Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the City of London Corporation. As the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, it is uniquely placed to mobilise capital to accelerate the domestic and international transition to a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy that is also climate resilient. The Green Finance Institute convenes and leads mission-led coalitions to identify and unlock barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful, real- economy outcomes. For more information visit and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Impact Investing Institute
The Impact Investing Institute is an independent, non-profit organisation which aims to accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and internationally. It does this by raising awareness of, addressing barriers to and increasing confidence in investing with impact. Our vision is for lives to improve, as more people choose to use their savings and investments to help solve social and environmental challenges, as well as seeking a financial return. The Institute is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the City of London Corporation and several supporters from the financial service industry. For more information visit and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment was established in 2008 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Institute brings together international expertise on economics, as well as finance, geography, the environment, international development and political economy to establish a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research, teaching and training in climate change and the environment. It has an active body of work on sustainable finance, including carbon assessment, central banks, the just transition, resilience and sovereign bonds. It is funded by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, which also funds the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment at Imperial College London. For more information visit and follow the Institute on Twitter.