Laura Sharman 16 July 2020

Council launches UK’s first local government green bond

The UK’s first local government green bond has been launched by West Berkshire Council.

The council aims to raise £1m from its citizens to fund solar panel installations on five council-owned buildings.

The bond uses Community Municipal Investment (CMI) developed by Abundance, which allows councils to offer a regulated investment directly to their residents for the first time.

Ross Mackinnon, the council’s executive member for finance and economic development, said: ‘We are very excited to be the first council to offer CMIs to our residents and community groups. They are a ground-breaking way to put residents’ money to work to help us build back greener after the pandemic.

’Communities investing directly with us will provide us with a cheaper alternative to conventional sources of funds reducing the overall cost of borrowing to all taxpayers across the district as well as making a positive contribution toward our target to be carbon neutral by 2030.’

Analysis by Abundance shows that CMIs have the potential to unlock £3bn for councils to finance net zero strategies.

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