GIB privatisation ‘should protect green goals’

The government’s plans to privatise the Green Investment Bank (GIB) should go ahead if the institution’s green targets are strengthened. That’s the suggestion of the Environmental Audit Committee which calls […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The government’s plans to privatise the Green Investment Bank (GIB) should go ahead if the institution’s green targets are strengthened.

That’s the suggestion of the Environmental Audit Committee which calls on the government to protect the GIB’s green purposes.

It stated the Tory administration hasn’t put “safeguards” in place to ensure the GIB’s green goals.

The Committee also believes the government decided to privatise the green bank without transparency, publication of relevant evidence and consultation.

There are two risks from the privatisation, according to the Committee, which added the GIB will focus on easier and more commercial projects.

Once privatised, the institution could also invest in areas which “may damage its reputation and undermine its leadership role in the green economy”, the Committee added.

If the privatisation goes ahead, the government should retain a minority stake in the bank in order to demonstrate its commitment to the green economy and ensure the bank’s long term strength, it suggested.

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP: “We need a Green Investment Bank that has the freedom to operate in ways that conventional commercial banks cannot. The green purposes of GIB must not only be properly protected – they should be strengthened. The government should retain a minority stake in the Bank to ensure its long- term strength and demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the green economy following the Paris climate agreement.”