Green Investment Bank set to launch this month

A ‘Green Investment Bank’ (GIB), set up by the government with an initial funding pot of £3bn, is due to launch this October

The bank will be run at arm’s length from the government, with the aim of investing in new eco-friendly projects, including recycling plants, to help the UK meet its carbon reduction goals. It is chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, who is also chair of energy giant SSE (Scottish Southern Electric).

So far, £180 million – in principle – has been committed to a variety of projects. For example, a £21 million compost plant located at the docks in Dagenham, Essex, operated by the TEG Group, has received £2 million from the GIB. GIB officials are also said to be looking at offshore wind, and structures which generate energy from general waste. In addition, they’ve met with businesses to encourage them to commit money to a number of suitable schemes.

The government estimates that at least £9 billion investment into the bank will be needed by 2020 to help achieve carbon reduction goals. But some environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace UK and WWF UK, say the way the bank is designed to operate makes it much less effective than it could be, because it is limited on borrowing and lending at the moment and could eventually run out of money.