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5 July 2022

75 leading thinkers call for an overhaul of green finance rules

Ahead of the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report, 75 leaders from civil society and academia have written to the government calling for action to ensure that rising interest rates do not choke off critical green investment and to shift financial flows out of fossil fuels.
12 highlights from 2022
By Anna Pick

Ahead of the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report, 75 leaders from civil society and academia have written to the government calling for action to ensure that rising interest rates do not choke off critical green investment and to shift financial flows out of fossil fuels. 

To tackle the cost of living, establish the UK’s energy security, and maintain a liveable planet, we need to quickly reduce our dependence on oil and gas by stopping all new fossil fuel expansion and rapidly upscaling investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This will require a rapid reallocation of public and private finance away from polluting sectors and towards green ones.

The Chancellor has already pledged to make London the world’s first ‘Net Zero Financial Centre’. But currently, activities in the City of London are undermining his ambitions, with British banks funding fossil fuels to the tune of £275 billion since 2016. The government’s upcoming Green Finance Strategy is a critical opportunity to set out an ambitious plan to actively shift financial flows in line with a 1.5C transition pathway, as well as nature and adaptation goals, and ensure costs and benefits are fairly distributed.

In anticipation of the new Strategy, this joint letter, signed by 75 leading thinkers representing a wide range of policy, research and campaign organisations, sets out 5 principles for a new vision of green finance that will help tackle the cost of living crisis, improve the UK’s energy security and accelerate the Net Zero transition:

  1. A clear plan for aligning financial flows with a 1.5C pathway and nature protection goals, with independent mapping of progress and investment gaps across public and private finance.

  2. Actively shifting financial flows, by reflecting the high risk of fossil fuel lending in regulation, and measures to keep the cost of green lending low, even in the current high-inflation, higher-interest-rate environment.

  3. A key role for public investment in driving a fair transition, as well as strategic public finance to create scale up private investment, for instance through the UK Infrastructure Bank. 

  4. A strong regulatory framework for enforcing the private sector transition to net zero, based on a UK taxonomy that rejects classifying gas or biomass as ‘green’, and with a new statutory objective for regulators to align the finance sector with net zero.

  5. Leading internationally and fulfilling global commitments, for instance by scaling up grant-based support to low-income countries, and ending UK financing of new fossil fuel infrastructure abroad.

Read the full letter here (PDF download), and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GreenFinanceStrategy.

You can find a press release on the joint statement here.


  1. Andy Agathangelou, Founder, Transparency Task Force

  2. Jamie Audsley, Head of Future Nature, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

  3. Daniel Bailey, Senior Lecturer of International Political Economy, Manchester Metropolitan University

  4. John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy, Queen’s University Belfast

  5. Maaike Beenes, Campaign Lead Banks & Climate, BankTrack

  6. Rachel Bentley, Associate Director, Centre for Local Economic Strategies

  7. Dr Richard Benwell, CEO, Wildlife & Countryside Link

  8. Jo Blackman, Head of Forests Policy and Advocacy, Global Witness

  9. Mark Blyth, Professor of International Economics, The Watson Institute at Brown University

  10. Fran Boait, Executive Director at Positive Money UK

  11. Kathryn Brown, Director of Climate Change and Evidence, The Wildlife Trusts

  12. Nick Bryer, Associate Director, Europe Campaigns,

  13. Tony Burdon, CEO, Make My Money Matter

  14. Mike Childs, Head of Science, Policy & Research, Friends of the Earth

  15. David Comerford, Lecturer in Economics, University of Strathclyde

  16. Paul Cook, Head of Advocacy, Tearfund

  17. Christine Cooper, Chair in Accounting and Director of Research, University of Edinburgh Business School

  18. Sophie Cowen, Director, Switch It Green

  19. Yannis Dafermos, Senior Lecturer in Economics, SOAS University of London

  20. Panicos Demetriades FAcSS, Professor Emeritus, University of Leicester

  21. Dr Andy Denis, Fellow Emeritus, Economics Department, City, University of London

  22. Timothy J. Dixon, Professor of Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment, University of Reading, UK

  23. Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

  24. Maria-Krystyna Duval, Director of Climate, ClientEarth

  25. Sarah Edwards, Executive Director, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR)

  26. Dirk Ehnts, Institute for International Political Economy and Pufendorf Society for Political Economy

  27. Karen Ellis, Chief Economist, WWF UK

  28. Owen Espley, Senior Economic Justice Campaigner, War on Want 

  29. Felix FitzRoy, Emeritus Professor, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews

  30. Damon Gibbons, Executive Director, Centre for Responsible Credit

  31. Oliver Greenfield, Convenor, Green Economy Coalition (GEC)

  32. Jesse Griffiths, CEO, Finance Innovation Lab

  33. Dr. Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin, Research & Campaigns Manager, MCS Charitable Foundation

  34. Louise Hazan, Co-Founder, Tipping Point 

  35. Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive, ShareAction

  36. Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), University of Surrey

  37. Michael Jacobs, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sheffield

  38. Amanda Janoo, Economics & Policy Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) 

  39. Bob Jessop, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Lancaster University

  40. Katie Kedward, Policy Fellow in Sustainable Finance, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

  41. Steve Keen, Economist and Honorary Professor, University College London

  42. Gerhard Kling, Chair in Finance, University of Aberdeen

  43. Dr Neil Lancastle, Senior Lecturer, De Montfort University

  44. Ben Margolis, Interim Director, The Climate Coalition (TCC)

  45. Mick McAteer, Founder and Co-Director, The Financial Inclusion Centre; former Board Member, Financial Conduct Authority

  46. Dr Amy McDonnell, Campaign Director, Zero Hour

  47. James Meadway, Director, Progressive Economy Forum

  48. Olga Mikheeva, Marie Curie Research Fellow, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

  49. Luke Murphy, Associate Director for Energy, Climate, Housing and Infrastructure and Head of Environmental Justice Commission, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

  50. David Newbery, Director Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge

  51. Maria Nikolaidi, Associate Professor in Economics, University of Greenwich

  52. Ozlem Onaran, Professor of Economics, University of Greenwich

  53. Dr Nick Palmer, Head of Compassion in World Farming UK

  54. Dr. Doug Parr, Head of Policy, Greenpeace UK 

  55. ​​Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME); member of the Scottish Just Transition Commission

  56. Lydia Prieg, Head of Economics, New Economics Foundation

  57. Kate Raworth, Senior Teaching Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

  58. Flora Rebello Arduini, Campaigns Director, SumOfUs

  59. Aidan Regan, Associate Professor of Political Economy, University College Dublin (UCD)

  60. Nick Robins, Professor in Practice – Sustainable Finance, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

  61. Sergio Rossi, Professor of Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

  62. Josh Ryan-Collins, Associate Professor in Economics and Finance, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

  63. Nick Shaxson, co-founder, Balanced Economy Project

  64. Dale Southerton, Professor of Consumption and co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures, The University of Bristol

  65. Benjamin K. Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex 

  66. Shaun Spiers, Executive director, Green Alliance

  67. Beth Stratford, author and Political Economist

  68. Peter Sweatman, Chief Executive, Climate Strategy & Partners

  69. Rachael Sweet, Head of Campaigns & Advocacy, Save the Children UK

  70. Shane Tomlinson, Acting CEO, E3G

  71. Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecological Economics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

  72. David Tyfield, Professor in Sustainable Transitions and Political Economy, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

  73. Richard Wilkinson, Professor emeritus of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham Medical School

  74. Simon Wren-Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Oxford University, UK

  75. Dimitri Zenghelis, Special Advisor, Bennett Institute of Public Policy, University of Cambridge

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