On the eve of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, the UK’s leading financial centre has toppled Amsterdam in the latest Global Green Finance Index.

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For the first time since the inaugural Global Green Finance Index (GGFI) in March 2018, London has come out on top of the ranking, pushing Amsterdam into second place. The UK capital has benefitted from recent government action on green finance, including the issue of the first UK sovereign green bond. It ranked first in the four areas of competitiveness: sustainability, business, human capital and infrastructure.

Amsterdam has held the green finance crown for six of the eight editions of the GGFI, published by think tank Z/Yen. GGFI 8 evaluates the green finance offerings of 80 major financial centres around the world, with Berlin and Nairobi being added for this edition. The evaluations are based on 143 instrumental factors.

Western European centres continue to dominate the top centres in the index, taking eight of the top 10 places. Paris moved up one spot to rejoin the elite group, while Berlin entered the index in 21st place. However, 19 of the 28 Western European centres have dropped in the ranks, with Vienna, Lisbon and Dublin falling 10 or more spots. Of the four Scandinavian centres in the ranking, only Stockholm has managed to improve its position.

Within the top 10, both San Francisco and Los Angeles improved their ranking by two spots, to take third and eighth positions, respectively. New York managed to improve its ranking by 18 places to 13th place, which was the biggest rise across the index. Washington, DC entered the top 20, jumping six places to 15th.

Canadian centres, on the other hand, either fell in the rankings or maintained their position. Montreal, for example, dropped six places to 25th.

Asia-Pacific financial centres again performed strongly, with Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Singapore all consolidating gains. Beijing is sitting just outside the top 10, having moved up three positions to 11th.

In the Middle East and Africa, Dubai has overtaken Casablanca to take the leading position in the region, with Abu Dhabi also performing strongly, overtaking Tel Aviv which fell six places to 54th. Nairobi has entered the index for the first time.

Sao Paulo continues to lead the index in the Latin America and Caribbean region, although it dropped five spots. Moving up five places, Mexico City has taken over the second position in the region from the Cayman Islands, which fell eight spots in the overall ranking.

Interestingly, Nur-Sultan leads the eastern Europe and central Asia region, in 52nd place overall, with Moscow trailing in 70th spot.

Joy Macknight is editor of The Banker. Follow her on Twitter @joymacknight

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