1 June 2011 – The UK will become the first country in the world to create a national bank dedicated to the greening of the economy in a move that has been hailed as a turning point for the British economy and the start of a sustainable green economy

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg expects the bank to be making its first investments by April, 2012 before the necessary legislation had made it to the statute books, a BBC report says .

The primary aim of the Green Investment Bank is to encourage private sector investment in the UK’s efforts to develop a greener economy. Early targets would be offshore wind, waste and non-domestic energy efficiency.

The GIB will evolve over three phases:

  • Incubation from 2012 to State Aid approval. Government will make direct investments.
  • Establishment as a stand-alone institution following approval.
  • Full borrowing powers from 2015, subject to public sector net debt falling as a percentage of GDP.

“Investing in a greener future is an ambition that combines an ethical duty and an economic duty,” Mr Clegg said

The announcement, made by Mr Clegg during a speech in London, comes shortly after the coalition was criticised by green groups for failing to live up to the pledge of being the “greenest government ever”.

Responding to Mr Clegg’s speech, Friends of the Earth’s senior economy campaigner Simon Bullock welcomed the news that ministers planned to introduce legislation to protect the bank.

“This will give businesses the reassurance they are looking for to invest in British renewable energy jobs and industries,” he told BBC News.

“Using the bank to cut energy waste from homes will also help to tackle fuel poverty and climate-changing emissions.”

For full article see  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13502121

Reactions:

UK Green Building Council  Paul King said in The Electrical Times : “The announcement is tremendous news for anyone with an interest in creating a strong, independent Green Investment Bank, which has the capacity to kick-start the step change needed to create a low-carbon economy.

“Not only has government recognised how important legislation is, ministers have rightly linked the bank with the need for low-cost finance to ensure the green deal delivers a home refurbishment revolution in the UK.”

Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW, the renewable energy agency for South West England said, “For the bank to be truly effective it’s important it doesn’t take the simple option of investing in safe projects that would simply compete with bank finance.

“It must focus on leveraging the required private capital by financing commercially-viable projects at the earliest stages, where the highest risks are inherent.”_

Adrian Montague, former chairman of the nuclear operator, British Energy, will chair an Independent Financial Experts Advisory Group with its first task to get experienced financial professionals to ensure the GIB’s success.

See the full article

https://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/article.asp?articleid=5777

Damian Carrington, writing in The Guardian said:“The first national development bank in the world to be dedicated to the low carbon economy might just be the turning point in the UK when we leave the dirty old economy behind and start really building the stable, sustainable green economy.

“That means new jobs, cleaner air, less severe impacts from global warming and more. When we look back, it may truly have started here.

“The reaction from business, campaigners and engineers has been among the most positive I can recall for a green announcement: campaigners always ask for more than they think they will get, but there was little they didn’t get here.

“The one big obstacle remaining is when the GIB can start borrowing.”

See the full story https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/may/23/green-investment-bank-economy-clegg