MORE can be done by peer-to-peer platforms to help address the climate change crisis, former Zopa executive Bruce Davis has said.
In a call to action for the industry, Davis – founder and managing director of crowd bonds platform Abundance Investment – highlighted the growing appetite among investors for green energy loans, noting that Abundance has funded more than £100m of these projects over the past eight years.
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“The general public is more supportive of putting their money into green projects and taking action on the environment and now the UK government has much clearer policies supporting green infrastructure,” Davis told Peer2Peer Finance News.
“We think it’s important that it’s not just down to big institutions or big capital and people can help with a minimum of £5.
“There’s been lots of talk and now people want to take action. P2P offers that direct action with your money, you’re backing that actual project, a windfarm or a green start-up, for example.”
Davis’ comments came after the government signed an agreement promising to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. “That requires billions of pounds of investment to achieve and I believe the P2P and crowdfunding sector could play a bigger role in raising this money,” Davis said. “We haven’t really seen much movement from the P2P industry but I wouldn’t blame others for not doing stuff, it’s challenging to grow a business in a changing regulatory environment and harder to become greener as well.
“We’ve always crafted our own path, but there’s an opportunity for P2P lenders to get behind this. However, it would be a new line of business for most of them and would require investment and effort.” In recent months, property-backed P2P platforms such as CrowdProperty, The House Crowd and Blend Network have taken a more active role in encouraging developers to build more environmentally friendly and sustainable developments in response to investor demand.
“Today’s investors are not just looking for return,” said Yann Murciano, chief executive of Blend Network. “Their investment decisions reflect their desire for sustainability and responsible investing. “Therefore, investment platforms need to be part of the solution by providing multi-stakeholder engagement. We have a social responsibility we need to uphold.”