Urgent Question on the sale of the Green Investment Bank

It was announced this week that the Tory Government are reportedly preparing to sell The Green Investment Bank (GIB) with no guarantees that its green purpose, or any kind of public influence, will be maintained.


The GIB, a publicly owned bank, has been a great British success story. It has funded innovative new smart green technology to fight climate change and has created export opportunities for a decarbonising world.


On Wednesday 11 January 2017 there was an Urgent Question “To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy if he will make a statement on the sale of the Green Investment Bank?”. The Minister responded with “potential bidders are interested in the GIB precisely because of its green specialism”. However it was announced this week that the Government’s preferred bidder has a dismal environmental record and a dubious track record of asset-stripping, as reported by The Guardian.


When Kevin Brennan MP (Labour, Cardiff West) asked the Minister if “the bank be free to invest in fracking projects”, the Minister did not provide a clear response and said it was for the “trustees” to safeguard the integrity of the green purpose.


The Environmental Audit Committee’s report on the sale of the bank stated that Ministers had rushed to privatise GIB without consultation or proper consideration of the alternatives, and that either it should continue to exist as a low-carbon investor or its sale should not proceed. Here is a link to the report: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmenvaud/536/536.pdf