Financial institutions and listed firms to be forced to publish net-zero plans


inancial institutions and listed companies will be forced to publish their plans on how they will transition to net zero, in sweeping reforms the Chancellor hopes will halt so-called greenwashing.

Rishi Sunak is set to reveal in a speech on Wednesday plans to make the UK a net-zero financial centre.

Speaking at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow Mr Sunak is expected to outline how new rules will be drawn up by a task force with members from universities, civil society groups, industry and regulators.

The plans will need to include high-level targets to reduce greenhouse emissions, the steps companies plan to take to get there and milestones ahead of 2050.

But although the plans will need to be published, the aim is simply to increase transparency.

It comes as Boris Johnson said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a deal at crucial international talks to curb global warming.

On the second day of the summit, the Prime Minister welcomed a series of announcements by the assembled leaders on deforestation and emissions.

But he stressed there was still a long way to go if they were to get an agreement that would keep alive the prospect set out in the Paris Agreement of restricting world temperature rises to 1.5C.

Ahead of the summit, Mr Johnson suggested that humanity was 5-1 down at half-time in the battle against climate change.

But speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he said: “We’ve pulled back a goal, or perhaps even two, and I think we are going to be able to take this thing to extra-time, because there’s no doubt that some progress has been made.”

He added that while the “doomsday clock is still ticking”, they now had a bomb disposal team on site and “they’re starting to snip the wires – I hope some of the right wires”.

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