The UK’s former Green Investment Bank (GIB) failed to live up to its original ambitions and now there is no guarantee it ever will.
That’s according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which says the government’s sale of the GIB to Macquarie for £1.6 billion last year prioritised reducing public debt over the continued delivery of the organisation’s sustainable objectives.
It claims the measures put in place to protect the GIB’s green purposes are not sufficient to ensure it will still be able to support the government’s energy policy or continue to have an impact on climate change goals.
The PAC says it was a misjudgement for BEIS to have so little assurance over the Green Investment Group’s (GIG) future investments, which it says are likely to prove crucial to meeting the UK’s green commitments.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Deputy Chair of the PAC, said:
“Government set up the GIB to grow investment in the green economy and thus help the UK meet its climate change obligations. The manner in which it was sold off is therefore deeply regrettable. Government did not carry out a full assessment of the bank’s impact before deciding to sell, nor did it secure adequate assurance over the bank’s future role.
The protracted sale process put Government on the back foot; had it been shrewder, it could have secured a better return for taxpayers.”