Tuesday, 15 March 2011

‘Proper’ Green Investment Bank needed to meet UK’s energy investment needs

In another dent to the UK government’s green plans, a Parliamentary committee has warned that the promised Green Investment Bank could flounder unless it is give the power to raise capital.

The report out today by the Environmental Audit Committee urges the government not to water down its plans for a Green Investment Bank so that the UK won’t miss out on billions of pounds of investment in green energy projects.

“The Chancellor must ensure the Green Investment Bank can do what it says on the tin and raise extra capital like a real bank,” says committee chair Joan Walley MP. “Setting up a Green Investment Bank without the power to borrow would be a bit like trying to buy a house without first getting a mortgage offer.”

The Chancellor George Osborne pledged £1 billion to the Green Investment Bank in the Spending Review last year, plus proceeds from the sale of certain government assets, but it has not been confirmed whether the ‘bank’ will be able to borrow money and raise additional capital.

Evidence presented to the Environmental Audit Committee indicates that between £200 billion and £1 trillion of private sector investment is needed over the next 10-20 years to transform the UK into a low-carbon economy and meet its climate change and renewable energy targets.


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