Alternative Investment  

Concerns about eco future of Green Investment Bank

Concerns about eco future of Green Investment Bank

Concerns have been raised about the future of the Green Investment Bank as the government prepares to part-privatise it.

The process of selling off all but a golden share - which gives the holder a deciding vote - in the Edinburgh-based bank will allow it to take investments from private investors and greater access to capital markets.

Australian bank Macquarie is thought to be the preferred bidder for the bank.

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But Mary Creagh, chairman of parliament’s environmental audit committee, expressed concern that the bank’s “green identity” could be diluted.

She said: “I am pleased that the government has accepted our recommendation to set up a special share and that special shareholders have been appointed.

“However, I would like to know what other mechanisms the government intends to put in place to ensure that the GIB has a robust future as a green investment bank.”

She pointed out that Macquarie has been subject to criticism for its ownership of Thames Water.

Since its launch the GIB has invested £2.7bn in early-stage renewable energy projects.

While the government has said it will create a special share, it has said it may not hold onto it but instead will set up a company specifically for that purpose which will be independent of government and the GIB.

The creation of the special share would grant the holder the right to approve or reject any change to the green purposes of the GIB.

It will not confer any economic interest in GIB nor any other rights or powers to prescribe its governance or how it conducts its activities.