Civil society & business groups set 5 tests Green Investment Bank buyers must pass

18th March 2016

Civil society and business groups have set 5 tests against which any prospective buyers of the Green Investment Bank will be assessed, calling on them to commit to measures that will ensure it continues to act and invest in the public interest.

The Green Investment Bank ‘Public Interest Prospectus’, launched today, sets out the 5 tests which any prospective owners must pass. 

Prospective buyers of the GIB should commit to:

  1. Maintaining the integrity of the GIB as a single, functioning institution;
  2. Deploying at least £4bn of new GIB capital in the UK’s low carbon economy over 3 years;
  3. Scaling up citizen finance;
  4. Keeping the GIB at the forefront of the green infrastructure market;
  5. Ensuring best–in-class standards of governance and transparency.

Nick Molho, Executive Director of Aldersgate Group said: “What has made the Green Investment Bank unique to date hasn’t just been its focus on green infrastructure but the fact that it has been a step ahead of the market, by supporting projects that weren’t attracting sufficient levels of private sector investment. This focus on supporting novel projects, such as complex NHS energy efficiency schemes and offshore wind projects using cutting-edge technology, has allowed the bank to make a real difference by supporting innovation, accelerating cost reductions and delivering supply chain benefits to the UK.

It is in the interest of both the future owners of the GIB and the UK public that funded its creation for the bank to retain its market strength in these areas and to continue to provide genuine added value to the UK’s green finance sector.”

Karla Hill of ClientEarth said: “The GIB is a unique institution, integral to supporting the UK’s cost-effective transition to a low-carbon economy. In the coming years we will need investment in our most important green projects – which is why we have to protect the GIB and its special character now.”

Sepi Golzari-Munro, Head of the UK Programme at E3G said: “To stand any chance of winning civil society and business support, any new investors must commit to maintaining the GIB’s integrity as a single, functioning institution and to deploying at least £4bn of new GIB capital in the UK’s low carbon economy over the next three years. Nothing less will do. “

Angela Francis, Economist at Green Alliance said: “If the GIB can continue to provide first of a kind finance to green projects it will remain a powerful institution, but if this sale leads to the bank losing its distinctive leadership role in market, it will be written up as an experiment that failed”

Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace UK said: “If Government abandons giving the Green Investment Bank the clarity of purpose that made it such a special institution, then the investors who take it over will need to step up to the plate.”