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Energy: Cryptocurrencies

Question for Treasury

UIN HL2661, tabled on 13 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether managing the high energy impact of cryptocurrencies will be on the agenda at COP26.

Answered on

27 September 2021

The Government’s private finance objective for the upcoming COP26 climate change forum is to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account. The recovery from COVID-19 will determine the mitigation and adaptation pathways for decades to come.

The finance campaign will provide the conditions for a future that is genuinely greener, more resilient and more sustainable than the past. Action on finance underpins all the other COP campaigns: adaptation and resilience, energy transition, nature and zero-emission vehicles. Without the right levels of finance, the rest is not possible.

The Government has already taken action to ensure the UK is the world-leading centre for green finance including through announcing an intention to make disclosures aligned with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) fully mandatory across the economy by 2025, making the UK the first country to do so.

Additionally, the Government has committed to the implementation of a green taxonomy.  This will allow us to accelerate our work towards a greener financial sector, by providing a common definition for environmentally sustainable economy activities.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Bank of England, considers the impact of cryptoassets and assesses what, if any, regulation is required in response. The Government has been monitoring developments within the cryptoasset industry, including rising energy usage.

The Government is committed to upholding its pledge relating to the Paris Climate Agreement and have enacted a legally binding target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Between 1990 and 2018, the UK reduced its emissions by 43% while growing the economy by 75% – the best performance in the G7 on a per person basis and will continually assess any emerging environmental threats.

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