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WWF responds to the sale of the Green Investment Bank

Commenting on the sale of the Green investment Bank, Karen Ellis, Chief Adviser on Economics and Development at WWF stated:

“Now that the sale of the Green Investment Bank has been confirmed Macquarie must guarantee that the green mission of the bank is protected and maintained and that it will provide substantial new capital for green investments. Numerous market failures are constraining the availability of finance for green investment, so to ensure the Green Investment Bank continues to deliver on its mandate, it should invest in novel green projects, which are less likely to be funded privately; it needs to focus on crowding in additional finance by reducing the barriers to investment.  Green growth has the ability to power our economy, create more jobs and dramatically reduce emissions, and we should not miss out on the opportunities it offers.

“We are already seeing the effects of climate change from droughts and floods through to coral reef bleaching. The next UK Government must continue to invest in new renewable technologies and support innovation which will lead to a low carbon economy.”

Facts

  • The UK Government expenditure on environmental protection as a percentage of GDP has declined from 1% in 2010 to 0.8% in 2014 [1]
  • The UK’s environmental goods and services sector (EGSS) grew by 10.9% between 2010 and 2014. By 2014, the sector was contributing £29 billion to the UK economy in terms of value added (1.6% of GDP) and supporting an estimated 373,500 FTE jobs [2]
  • WWF’s Greener Budget highlighted evidence that showed that UK businesses could save £23billion in the space of one year through no-cost or low-cost resource efficiency measures, and generate half a million new jobs by 2030 by embracing the circular economy. [3] 

Background

The UK Green Investment Bank was created in 2012 and is the first bank of its type in the world. It was created by the UK Government and capitalised with public funds. It uses this finance to back green projects on commercial terms and mobilise other private sector capital into the UK’s green economy. The UK Green Investment Bank has backed 99 green infrastructure projects, committing £3.4bn to the UK’s green economy into transactions worth £12bn.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/datasets/ukenvironmentalaccountsenvironmentalprotectionexpenditurebygeneralgovernmentunitedkingdom

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/bulletins/ukenvironmentalaccounts/2015-04-15

[3] https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/improve-budget-safeguard-uks-economic-future-says-wwf-uk-0?_io=7481