Green Investment Bank could fund nuclear

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management have urged the government not to use the Green Investment Bank’s funding for the development of new nuclear and have backed MP […]

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By Tom Gibson

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management have urged the government not to use the Green Investment Bank’s funding for the development of new nuclear and have backed MP Caroline Lucas’s criticism of them. Before the election the Conservatives promised the GIB would finance new green technologies.

Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, said: “Nuclear is not green in my view. But it’s not new in anyone’s mind. Funding nuclear makes a mockery of the whole idea of a Green Investment Bank and even indirect support – such as cheaper taxpayer-backed loans offered by a bank – still amounts to a subsidy.”

As the bank has not made a decision over whether it will support the nuclear industry it is unclear as to where the funding will be allocated. CIWEM, an independent, chartered professional body and registered charity, wants the Government to invest in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy production.

A Department for Business spokesperson said: “We are in the very early stages of considering the GIB’s remit. At this stage it makes sense to consider a wide range of options for the bank’s investments. To suggest that the bank may fund nuclear power is extremely premature. Work to refine areas that could see investment will be continuing throughout the year.”

Nick Reeves, CIWEM’s Executive Director, said an evolving energy mix was necessary to decarbonise UK electricity generation: “The Green Investment Bank must invest in cutting edge renewable technologies that lead us to a genuinely competitive low carbon economy.”

Mr Reeves reminded the Government of their pre-election policies: “Our carbon targets will be missed unless urgent action is taken to improve access to capital, so we urge the Government to live up to their promise to be the greenest government ever and prioritise the development of renewable energy through their green bank.