Global Witness welcomes an open letter from Sir Ian Cheshire, former Chair of Barclays and head of the government-backed taskforce on deforestation, the Global Resource Initiative (GRI), to ministers and Members of the House of Lords, as they debate the Financial Services and Markets Bill in Parliament.

There is significant cross-Party support for an amendment that would stop billions of pounds flowing from UK financial institutions to deforestation each year.

Sir Ian Cheshire wrote to government on 24 January 2023; read the letter in full below.

Veronica Oakeshott, Head of Global Witness's Forest Campaign, said:

“It's great to see Sir Ian reminding the government about the recommendations he and his taskforce make about the need to regulate financial flows from the UK that cause global deforestation. Lord Randall’s amendment to the Financial Services and Market Bill is an important opportunity for the government to put such regulations in place. We hope government will incorporate it into the Bill.”

Lords will have the opportunity to support the amendment in the next few weeks as the Bill passes through committee and report stages. The amendment already has high level backing from other parties. A similar Commons amendment received significant support.

Global Witness’s briefing on the Financial Services and Markets Bill is available to read here.


Update: On 24 February 2023, Baroness Penn, the government minister responsible for green finance, responded to Sir Ian’s letter. Read the full response here.