The Green Investment Bank (GIB) plays a unique strategic role in funding innovative and higher risk low carbon projects in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
My SNP colleagues and I, including the SNP Scottish Government, have sought assurances from the UK Government that after privatisation, the Bank will remain headquartered in Edinburgh and that the highly skilled jobs with the Bank will be retained. We have also sought assurances that the Bank’s green purpose – which enables it to invest in innovative new renewables technologies – will be protected. The hard work of my SNP colleagues and the Scottish Government did result in the UK Government giving us assurances on all of these points last year.
However, I was concerned to read recent reports that the privatisation may result in an asset stripping exercise. These reports run counter to the previous commitments made to the Scottish Government and it is deeply troubling considering the vital role that the Bank serves in our green economy. I am aware that the Scottish Government have made further representations to the UK Government on this matter, and rest assured that both the Scottish Government and SNP MPs at Westminster will continue to press the UK Government to commit to retaining the jobs and the HQ in Edinburgh, and retaining the Bank’s green purpose so that we can drive forward the green agenda, promote future growth and create more jobs both within the organisation and the wider sector.
As you point out, the GIB is a vital tool in driving the green economy. In Scotland, renewable energy has been a success story over recent years with almost 50% of Scotland’s electricity consumption now coming from renewable sources.