The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas has called for an urgent debate on the government’s plan to sell off the Green Investment Bank.
She asked for the debate in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday 25 June) at Business Questions when she said: “May we have an urgent debate on the government plans to sell off a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank – a move that will damage investor confidence, set back the low-carbon economy, and, crucially, undermine the very reason for setting up the bank, which was to lever private investment by de-risking it?”
The Conservative Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling said: “I am not surprised to hear the honourable lady’s concerns given her views.
“I believe that it is far better for an organisation like the Green Investment Bank to be able to stand on its own two feet.
“If it can function as an effective organisation without the need for taxpayer support, that is surely a good thing.
“It is a sign that investment in green business, green industries and green technologies is becoming more and more mainstream in the investment world.”
The sale was announced by Mr Grayling’s cabinet colleague Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, at the bank’s annual review meeting yesterday.
Caroline Lucas was widely quoted beforehand saying: “The government’s rash and irresponsible plan to sell off a large chunk of the Green Investment Bank calls into question their commitment to investing in a low-carbon economy.
“At precisely the time when we should be leading the world in the fight against climate change our government appears to be in retreat.
“The government should keep at least a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank to ensure investor confidence is upheld and the commitment to low-carbon lending remains.”
The bank was set up by the Conservatives in 2012. It has put £2 billion of public money into about 50 green infrastructure projects and more than half a dozen funds in about 240 locations around the country.
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) June 25, 2015