Tories propose green bank

Posted on 2 Feb 2010 by The Manufacturer

Shadow chancellor George Osborne today unveiled that the Conservatives are considering the idea of a single institution to handle government funding for green businesses.

Speaking at Imperial College in London, Mr Osborne said the bank would “invest in the next generation of green British businesses” and would bring the UK in to line with other countries such as Germany, Australia, France and Spain who already have green banks.

“Instead of the current system of multiple sources of Government funding for green investment projects, we will look to roll up these funds into a single bank that can leverage private sector investment and fund new green start-ups,” he said.

“We want to see lower emissions and a rising global market share for low carbon technologies. With the green investment bank that we are announcing today and the new incentives for energy efficiency investment, we can create high quality jobs and cut emissions at the same time.”

Osborne also pledged to slash central government emissions by 10%, saving £300 million a year in energy bills, and to encourage recycling by offering households £130 a year in shopping vouchers.

However, Liberal Democrats energy spokesman Simon Hughes said Mr Osborne’s plans were hypocritical considering he failed to back Liberal Democrat’s equivalent motion. “George Osborne’s decision to back a 10% cut in the emissions of Government departments is a good idea now and was a good idea one month ago when he and his leader failed to vote for a Liberal Democrat motion that would have done exactly this.

“It’s a pity the Tories’ deeds so often fail to match their words. Just weeks ago, the entire Conservative group shamefully walked out of a London Assembly meeting to tackle CO2 emissions in London, preventing the capital from signing up to 10:10. If the Tories want to learn about local best practice on the environment, they should look to Liberal Democrat councils who have led the way in greening Britain’s cities.”