UK government Transition Plan Taskforce considers role of nature

Move comes as Grantham Institute calls on financial institutions, governments, business and civil society to support a 'just nature transition'.


The UK government’s Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) is considering “input” from environmental NGO WWF on how nature can be incorporated into forthcoming guidance, Responsible Investor can reveal.    

Launched this year, the TPT has been tasked with developing a gold standard for transition plans from UK financial institutions and corporates. The UK’s Treasury – which is overseeing the work of the Taskforce – had previously indicated its intention to make publication of such plans mandatory.   

Alison Midgley, sustainable finance manager and policy adviser at WWF-UK, said the campaign group is lobbying for nature to be part of the UK’s transition plan guidance as part of WWF’s role within the Taskforce’s delivery and steering groups.

“We hope to work with the Taskforce to support the integration of nature into sector-neutral frameworks for listed companies (in other words, across all sectors) and thereafter to sector-specific frameworks next year, which is particularly important for sectors that have dependencies on nature and land.   

“Preventing further nature loss is crucial if we are to actually shift the dial on climate change.”   

A spokesperson for the Taskforce told RI: “The TPT secretariat is considering WWF’s input as we draft the sector neutral framework. This will be published for consultation in November.” 

The Taskforce is led by a steering group of private and public sector leaders, co-chaired by Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc and John Glen, who resigned as economic secretary to the Treasury on 6 July. It is supported by a delivery group of experts from across industry, academia and civil society. The secretariat for the TPT is provided by the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) and E3G.   

In July, the TPT closed its call for evidence on a sector-neutral framework for private sector transition plans.  

Earlier this month, RI revealed that the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment – in collaboration with the Impact Investing Institute – is writing a technical briefing paper on how a Just Transition can be incorporated into transition plans.  

In related news, a report by the Grantham Institute and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy has called on financial institutions, governments, business and civil society to support a “just nature transition”. 

Published on Tuesday, the paper defines the term as referring to “delivering decent work, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty in the shift to a net-zero and climate-resilient economy that simultaneously delivers biodiversity goals in agriculture, forestry, land-use and the oceans”.  

It is an expansion of the more established phrase regarding the need to ensure a “Just Transition”, which is more narrowly focused on ensuring that the benefits and costs of shifting to a low-carbon economy are distributed fairly. 

Among the recommendations aimed specifically at the finance sector, the report says money should be channelled to companies committed to and making progress to support a just nature transition for workers, suppliers, communities and consumers.  

It also suggests that financial institutions should “engage with policymakers to reform agricultural, forestry and nature policies so that they support a just transition and provide the incentives, rules and catalytic public finance that is needed to scale up private investment”.  

Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, CEO of Candriam – whose Institute for Sustainable Development provided financial support for the report – said: “Building an inclusive economy that protects and encourages nature goes hand in hand with tackling climate change, and it is a fundamental part of creating more sustainable and resilient societies.”