A few moments ago, four of our activists scaled the Treasury building where George Osborne works to deliver him a reminder: Green Bank = New Jobs. Right now he’s finalising the package of government cuts and spending that’s going to be released tomorrow, but we don’t want to see the potential for a green economy and new jobs squeezed out by the spending review.
A few moments ago, four of our activists scaled the Treasury building where George Osborne works to deliver him a reminder: Green Bank = New Jobs
Right now he’s finalising the package of government cuts and spending that’s going to be released tomorrow, but we don’t want to see the potential for a green economy and new jobs squeezed out by the spending review.
And really, neither does George. In the past he's made statements backing a Green Investment Bank that could provide tens of thousands of new jobs and help power our transition to a clean energy future.
A new green investment bank would lend money to businesses manufacturing and constructing huge offshore wind farms, as well as small and medium sized companies lagging lofts and developing innovative low-carbon technologies. Upfront cash from the government will attract other investors and the profit will be ploughed in to supporting more low-carbon programmes.
But as always, the devil’s in the detail.
For a green investment bank to be effective it needs at least £6bn to start, and the independence to raise its own cash. Unless it has the power and the money, the bank will be little more than a poorly funded quango.
Twenty companies - including Bank of America, Merryl Lynch, British Airways and Microsoft - have recommended the government invest £6bn in the bank to stimulate a job boom. Last week Ernst & Young warned that the UK’s low-carbon competitive advantage could be lost without the bank and even HSBC says that tomorrow’s announcement will be the government’s first test of its green credentials.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of George’s next move. Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake as well as a critical milestone in our work to stop climate change and create a clean, secure energy future.
1. “Our commitment to the environment is as strong as ever.”
2. “The Treasury has often been at best indifferent [on the environment], and at worst obstructive…All this has got to change.”
3. “Instead of the Treasury blocking green reform, I want a Conservative Treasury to lead the development of the low carbon economy and finance a green recovery.”
4. “A Conservative Treasury will drive green growth…by financing a green recovery.”
5. “A Green Investment Bank can help kickstart our green recovery by providing green companies with the investment they need.”
6. “This [a Green Investment Bank] will help us deliver the green finance we need for new jobs in every region of the country.”
7. “Under a Conservative government, the Treasury will no longer be the cuckoo in the Whitehall nest when it comes to climate change.”
8. “If I become Chancellor, the Treasury will become a green ally, not a foe.”
9. “I see in this green recovery not just the fight against climate change, but the fight for jobs, the fight for new industry.”
10. “If we're to compete in the technologies of the future, and come out of this recession with a more balanced economy, then Britain needs to play catch up. Our Green Investment Bank will help us do precisely that.”