David Cameron’s Green Investment Bank gets EC rubber stamp for operation

The coalition government's Green Investment Bank has received the seal of approval from the European Commission.

Back in March 2011, chancellor George Osborne said that the government’s new green initiative would have access to up to £3 billion of funds to support low-carbon investment.

Furthermore, he announced it would leverage an additional £15 billion of private sector injections in green projects over the course of ‘this Parliament’.

Activity will now begin in ‘the next few weeks’ following the European Commission’s rubber stamping, with business secretary Vince Cable describing the decision as ‘an important step’.

‘The UK Green Investment Bank has the potential to make a significant contribution to the development of a green economy,’ Cable adds.

‘State aid approval gives the Bank the green light to expand investment in the UK’s green infrastructure.’

Earlier in 2012 the Green Investment Bank was established as a public company.

Shaun Kingsbury, the Bank’s CEO, and six new non-executive directors will take up their positions on the board on 29 October. The official launch of UK GIB will be at the end of November.

UK Green Investment Bank chair Lord Smith comments, ‘We have already made significant progress in building our teams and the necessary infrastructure for the Bank and we expect to be fully operational in the next few weeks.

‘We clearly have challenges ahead but we have the people, the expertise and the capability to deliver on our priorities and create the foundation for a new climate of green investment.’

In the period before state aid approval, investments have been made on commercial terms by the Department for Business Skills & Innovation’s UK Green Investments team (UKGI).

To date, UKGI has committed £180 million to specialist fund managers to co-invest equity in smaller waste infrastructure, energy from waste, and non-domestic energy efficiency projects. Assets built up by UKGI will transfer to the Bank.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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