‘This is an opportunity to change the conversation’

IT is time to ‘change the conversation’ about Jersey from negative comments on tax avoidance to how its finance sector can help build a sustainable future for the planet, an environmentalist and explorer has said.

Andrew Mitchell,  Chief Executive of Equilibrium Futures has been instrumental in helping Jersey Finance put together its sustainable finance strategy. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30544759)
Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive of Equilibrium Futures has been instrumental in helping Jersey Finance put together its sustainable finance strategy. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30544759)

Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of Equilibrium Futures, believes that the Island has an ‘outsized’ global footprint because it handles so much money and that with the right mechanisms in place it could help investors to use their cash to combat issues like climate change

and environmental degradation. (Full interview in the Business on pages 28 and 29.)

Mr Mitchell, who is helping Jersey Finance put together its sustainable-finance strategy, said that doing so could permanently change how the Island was perceived.

‘This is an opportunity to change the conversation that you hear in the streets – if you walk around the UK or Europe – about Jersey,’ he said.

‘And we get this from the EU and from the OECD. These are organisations that snipe at jurisdictions like Jersey about tax – and we need to change that.

‘If we’re going to make our reputation even better we need to shift the conversation to be about something new. If we are a real leader on sustainability in the future, I believe that will change the perception of Jersey’s role in the world.’

Working with Jersey Finance, Mr Mitchell’s company Equilibrium Futures is helping to build so-called ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance – investing, which provides ethical safeguards for such business activity.

He said that with more than one trillion pounds of capital associated with it, Jersey could have a huge impact in helping money to be invested in this way and should strive to be a world leader in the field.

‘We’re a small island but we’ve got a very big voice. Our money affects millions of people around the world,’ Mr Mitchell said.

‘If we can move this money towards having a lighter touch on nature, and have a cultural climate of Jersey being good for people and the planet, it’s going to change our reputation – and in a very good way.’

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