What is your name and what is your role?
Hello, I’m Hattie. I’m the Head of Government Affairs for Bankers for Net Zero, leading on parliamentary engagement, continuing our work with Parliament’s numerous cross-party groups, work streams and initiatives relating to sustainability.
Where are you from?
I’m from God’s Country – otherwise known as East Yorkshire! From a small rural town called Driffield, situated in the Yorkshire Wolds.
What were you doing before you joined B4NZ?
After graduating with a Masters from Edinburgh University in Environmental Sustainability, I’ve been lucky enough to work in Parliament for a number of MPs since 2015, ranging from Government Ministers, a Secretary of State and many backbench MPs. I’ve also worked at Facebook in their Politics & Government team as a temporary role. While at Parliament I’ve also voluntarily ran MAPSA, a cross-party staff association, putting on events and tours for researchers in Parliament at places like Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the US Embassy.
What did you find most encouraging about the Government’s Green Finance Strategy?
It was encouraging to hear the Government aims to make the UK a world-leader in green finance. Given the UK’s prominence as a key hub for global financial services, it’s right we lead the way in this area. The aim to make the UK a Net Zero-aligned Financial Centre means we’ll be equipping markets with the information and tools necessary to drive the transition. It’s also right that we hold financial institutions accountable, with the recent announcement of a requirement for UK financial institutions to have firm-level transition plans setting out how they will decarbonise.
Are there any areas that you think government policy could go further on?
I’ve always cited the 5p bag charge as a recent example of a small incentive that can have overwhelming consequences. It was such a minor intervention, but it’s meant that since 2016, the number of single use plastic bags sold has gone from just over 2 billion to 488 million in 2021 (this includes the pandemic period which may have caused higher usage). I think we could apply this success to other areas of sustainability, easy changes to day-to-day habits makes the consumer think twice and drives substantial behaviour change, as well as raising money to go to positive causes.
Tell us a fun fact about Parliament…
Where to start! There are so many quirks about the place. On 5th November, 1605, Guy Fawkes was found in the cellar with barrels of gunpowder. One of my favourite facts is that, as a tradition, the Yeomen of the Guard still search the cellars the night before each annual state opening.