On Tuesday 10th May, Prince Charles announced the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill as part of the Queen’s Speech. This new bill will establish the Bank in law.
- The creation of a new public bank for net zero is an important step in the UK’s drive to meet its climate change targets and grow a clean economy of the future.
- Questions remain around the Bank’s borrowing powers, the target that it has been set by Treasury for financial returns, and the role of energy efficiency and nature within its investment strategy.
Story – UK Infrastructure Bank Bill
The cost-of-living crisis and drive for UK energy security have demonstrated the critical need for strategic investment in clean growth.
The UK Infrastructure Bank Bill, announced in the Queens Speech 2022, enshrines the Bank’s mission and functions in law – setting it up to deliver long term impact.
The Bill will set the Bank’s dual mandate of levelling up and addressing climate change1, define economic infrastructure, and set the framework for how the Bank will work with Local Authorities and investors to deliver its policy objectives.
Today’s announcement does not specify a role for the Bank in supporting energy efficiency and natural infrastructure projects, despite clear support for these areas in the Chancellor’s recent strategic steer to the Bank.
The extent of the Bank’s financial powers remain unclear. The Bank is bound by a currently unpublished financial returns target, and the scale of its operations is restricted by limitations on its borrowing powers.
Quotes – UK Infrastructure Bank Bill
Kate Levick, Associate Director of Sustainable Finance, said:
“It is fantastic to see the announcement of the UK Infrastructure Bill in today’s Queen’s speech. This is an important milestone towards delivering investment for net-zero across the whole of the UK – critical for building the resilient, clean economy that we all need.”
Heather McKay, Policy Advisor, UK Sustainable Finance, E3G
“Clear market signals and strategic public investment will be critical to tackling the cost-of-living crisis and increasing the UK’s energy resilience, and I agree with the Chancellor that there is a clear role for the UK Infrastructure Bank in delivering these goals. However, the announcement today falls short of specifying the Bank’s role in supporting energy efficiency and nature – worrying for those of us across the country who want cheaper bills, cleaner air and warmer homes”
Available for comment
Heather McKay (EN), Policy Advisor, UK Sustainable Finance
m: +44 79555 97676 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to Editors
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