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.