UK GIB to create special share to protect green mission

Offshore wind park. Featured Image: peerawat Songbundit/Shutterstock.com

February 3 (SeeNews) - The UK-government owned Green Investment Bank (GIB) will establish a "special share" to protect its green mission as part of the process to bring in private capital, the government said on Tuesday.

The special share will be held by a separate company independent of both GIB and the government, and the bank would not be able to make changes to its green mission without the consent of the special shareholder.

The green mission requires each GIB investment to contribute to one of five "green purposes" -- reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, advancement of efficiency in the use of natural resources, protection or enhancement of the natural environment, protection or enhancement of biodiversity and promotion of environmental sustainability. The investments should also make a positive overall contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Moving the Green Investment Bank into private ownership makes sense. If you want it to have access to more capital, to make bigger investments and have a bigger impact in green sectors it is the best course of action," said UK business secretary Sajid Javid.

The business secretary announced in June last year that the government would proceed with plans to bring private capital into GIB.

In December, the UK parliament's green watchdog, the Environmental Audit Committee, warned that the proposed privatisation should not go ahead if the government cannot ensure that the bank's green purpose is protected. Its report included a recommendation for the establishment of a special share.

"The decision to privatise the Bank appears rushed and Ministers have not produced convincing evidence that it will achieve its aims better in the private sector," the committee chair Huw Irranca-Davies said then.

GIB was launched in 2012 to support investment in UK green infrastructure.  

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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