UK calls for more G7 progress on climate finance

FILE PHOTO: Rishi Sunak hosts a press conference in Downing Street
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain March 3, 2021. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

May 28, 2021

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) -British finance minister Rishi Sunak called for more progress on ensuring financial markets support lower greenhouse gas emissions, after meeting on Friday with other finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 group of rich nations.

“It was great speaking to my G7 counterparts today about the actions we need to take to progress our ambitious climate agenda,” Sunak said in a statement.

Britain will host an in-person meeting of finance ministers in London on June 4-5.

“I look forward to next week’s meeting as we continue working together to support jobs and secure a green and global economic recovery,” he added.

A major step towards this goal would be for consistent international rules on how companies report their climate impact, so that investors can make better-informed decisions about whether to finance them, Britain said.

Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe – who attended the meeting in his capacity as chair of the euro zone’s group of finance ministers – said the COVID-19 pandemic had reinforced the need for international cooperation.

“As we emerge from this crisis and open up our economies, there is a change in the policy challenges we face: we will increasingly need policies that help us to build, grow and adapt,” he said.

Britain also wants to see substantial progress on global corporate tax reform at next week’s G7, including ensuring big tech companies pay tax in the countries where they operate, in addition to U.S.-led proposals for a global minimum tax.

Sources close to Friday’s talks said a deal on tax could be reached as soon as next week.

(Reporting by David Milliken and Kate Holton, additional reporting by Jan Strupczewski in BRUSSELS; editing by William James)