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PM Johnson overrules Rishi Sunak to finance ‘green funds’ backed by Carrie Symonds

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Reports are emerging that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a battle with his Chancellor Rishi Sunak and will begin to fund the ‘green’ projects, publically backed by his fiancée Carrie Symonds, in spite of considerable opposition from a sceptical Treasury.

The Prime Minister’s relationship with Ms Symonds, who is a passionate environmentalist has universally credited as being behind the Prime Minister’s declarations about ‘building a green recovery’ by striking agreements on cutting carbon emissions and boosting renewable technologies.

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The UK is preparing to hold the presidency of both the G7 and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) next year and UNN’s Oliver Down understands that Prime Minister Johnson has overcome Treasury opposition to the introduction of ‘green bonds’, which will act like mortgages for businesses that want to pursue environmentally-friendly projects.

A source close to the Prime Minister and Chancellor has said: ‘Rishi’s Treasury is typically cool on issues such as green bonds, regarding them as a bit “gimmicky”, but Boris is less sceptical, and thinks that the “optics” would be good for COP26’. 

In addition to scepticism from within the Treasury, the former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who now serves as the UK’s finance adviser to COP26 warned back in January against a sudden overexpansion of the green bond market by printing money to buy such products. Mr Carney said, ‘green QE [quantitative easing] to support the transition to a net zero carbon world’ should be ‘resisted’. He also went on to say: ‘While carefully circumscribed independence is highly effective in delivering price and financial stability, it cannot deliver lasting prosperity and it cannot address broader societal challenges.’. 

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