Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Green Investment Bank

The Green Investment Bank, in public hands, has been a great British success story. It has funded innovative technology to fight climate change and created export opportunities for a decarbonising world. I believe that it can continue to maintain an important economic role, helping to drive innovation, green energy and infrastructure in the UK. I therefore believe that the Conservative Government should stop its proposed sale.

The green infrastructure that our future low-carbon economy will need requires patient, long-term investment. The Government states that sale of the Green Investment Bank will enable it to access greater capital to invest in green infrastructure. However, the Green Investment Bank is designed introduce initial high risk capital into research and development projects to encourage the green technology innovation we need.

The Australian bank Macquarie, reportedly the Government's preferred bidder, has been charged with having no interest in this approach. I am therefore concerned that the market failure that the Green Investment Bank has been fixing will remerge and the UK will lose out on the development of exportable green technologies.

A number of individuals and organisations, including the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, are worried that, far from investing its own money in new green technologies, Macquarie is planning to break up the Bank and sell off its most profitable assets.

Furthermore, the Conservative Government has confirmed that 11 new companies have been set up within the Green Investment Bank, which would enable the quick sell off of these assets, so it would appear these fears may be justified. I am therefore concerned that the measures the Government has put in place will not be sufficient to protect the green purposes of the Green Investment Bank, or to prevent the institution from being broken up and sold off.

I believe the Green Investment Bank will provide the greatest benefit to the taxpayer and to future generations by remaining in the public sector.

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