Green finance could play a significant role in the long term economic recovery from Covid-19, according to the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT)
To support local authorities, ADEPT and Amey have published the Green Finance Toolkit. The toolkit has been designed to support place leaders seeking to develop a strategic approach to embedding green finance across local authorities, as well as providing a guide to existing support.
Developed as a result of work coming out of ADEPT’s Excellence in Place Leadership (EiPL) programme run in partnership with Amey, the toolkit takes the Government’s Green Finance Strategy as its starting point.
EiPL, ADEPT’s thought leadership programme, brings together thought leaders and influencers from local authorities, corporate partners and the wider ADEPT membership to examine key issues and opportunities affecting the place sector.
Green finance was the second of four key sessions, where members were challenged to ‘make green finance work’. The toolkit consolidates some of the conclusions, that emerged from the session, with opportunities including:
*Crowdfunding and other non-traditional sources of finance that offer new ways to involve local people in green projects in their area.
*Working with other councils to share information, collaborate in opportunities together to make them more attractive to potential investors.
*Using the run-up to the UN COP26 conference next year to publicise green finance successes and raise the profile of green investment in places.
Similarly, the session identified some key challenges:
*The need for councils to develop long-term commissioning and investment plans with a pipeline of projects and a high degree of certainty that the plans command broad and ongoing support locally, to give clear signals to the market.
*The need for place directors to work with chief finance officers to help councils become more innovative, and less risk adverse, when seeking sources of funding.
*The need for a joined up approach from government departments so that they are encouraging councils to exploit green finance.
The toolkit also examines how some local authorities are already developing their green finance portfolio and includes case studies from Bristol, Swindon and Cambridge.
Darryl Eyers, President of ADEPT, said: “Before Covid-19, we were beginning to see significant steps in the global economy towards cleaner, more resilient economic growth and international funds into green investment were increasing.
“The local government challenge will be to understand these new sources of finance, and to package investment projects to access this funding and The Green Finance Toolkit will be an invaluable resource. Green finance will be intrinsic to local authorities’ work to help businesses, services and communities access the support needed to rebuild local economies and maintain focus on the climate change agenda.”
David Ogden, Business Director at Amey, said: “Created from the EiPL programme, this toolkit is a culmination of advice and guidance for place leaders which aims to help them bring to life the principles of green finance within their strategy development. As organisations consider their recovery plans from Covid-19, green finance can unlock opportunities to support transforming sectors and long-term service delivery, while delivering a cleaner global economy for the future.”