The UK Government has officially transferred ownership of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to its new private sector owners.
Australian bank Macquarie has now taken over the bank, headquartered in Edinburgh, in a £2.3 billion deal, which previously drew criticism from some politicians and environmentalists.
The government however decided that moving the GIB into the private sector would “free it from the constraints of public sector ownership, allowing it to increase investment in our green infrastructure as we transition to a green economy”.
Macquarie has pledged to the GIB’s target of leading £3 billion of investment in green energy projects over the next three years.
The organisation will now be known as the Green Investment Group (GIG) so that it will be able to make investments overseas.
The green “special share” held by the Green Purposes Company will also come into force now. Five independent trustees have the power to approve or reject any proposed changes to GIG’s green purposes in the future.
Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry said: “We led the world in setting up the Green Investment Bank and it is now being copied by others. Now that it’s in the private sector, it will be able to operate on an international level to tackle the global challenge of climate change.
“It is also perfectly placed to help us finance green initiatives for our Clean Growth Plan and realised the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement.”
The UK Government will continue to hold an interest in a portfolio of a small number of GIB’s existing green infrastructure investments.