Financing Adaptation and Resilience in London and the UK: Moving from Aspiration to Reality

Published on June 26, 2024

Authored by Stella Whittaker, Claudia Hlavackova, Raffaele Della Croce

This research project, divided into three separate papers, takes a practical approach by focusing on the real estate and water sectors in London and the UK.

Based on industry insights, this three-part research is part of the “Financing Adaptation and Resilience in London and the UK” project. The project identifies and discusses drivers and challenges for investing in adaptation and resilience and necessary changes for developing capital market solutions in London and the UK. This research has been conducted by the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment (CCFI) at Imperial College Business School and the Singapore Green Finance Centre, following papers focusing on adaptation and nature financing (Buhr, B. (2022)Holtedahl, P., Köberle, A. & Koci I. (2023)Whittaker, S. & Nguyen, T. (2023)).


June 2024 | Authors: Stella Whittaker, Raffaele Della Croce, Claudia Hlavackova

Part I Case Studies Analysis of the research project highlights various adaptation and resilience investment and financing models, with eight case studies in London and the UK. The analysis responds to the following three questions: What is the investment proposition and the role of the private sector in adaptation and resilience? What are the main investment models and financing instruments for private investors in these areas? What are the major investment drivers for institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers?

Download – Part 1

Coming soon – Part II Urban Adaptation Financing focuses on urban adaptation financing, delving into the current state of adaptation finance in London and making a comparison with Copenhagen and Singapore. This comparison is particularly significant as it allows us to draw lessons from cities with different approaches and experiences, thereby enriching our understanding of urban adaptation financing. The research primarily focuses on private investment and aims to learn about the experience of London (covering the greater London area) in the delivery of climate finance and financing for urban climate change adaptation and understand the potential barriers and opportunities to mobilising finance. The research question, ‘To what extent can cities and investors build for innovation in climate adaptation in cities?’ aims to inform and promote a better understanding of financing for climate change adaptation actions.

Coming soon – Part III Policy Recommendations develops policy recommendations taking into consideration the current policy context. Drawing on insights from the case studies analysis and the London urban adaptation finance research (Part 1 & 2 of this policy brief), this Paper develops several recommendations, addressing policymakers, regulators, and the financial industry — primarily banks, asset managers, exchanges, and marketplaces. Several recommendations need to be addressed simultaneously to enable private investment into adaptation in London and the UK; these activities need to be embraced by all actors: investors, regulators, Government, OFWAT, the Bank of England, standard-setting agencies, corporations, and development companies etc.