- The UK Infrastructure Bank was launched today, together with a framework that sets out its approach to investment. The bank has a dual mandate to support the UK’s net-zero transition as well as levelling up economic prosperity across different parts of the UK.
- This new public bank has the potential to turbo-charge the UK’s climate transition by investing in overcoming market failures and unlocking the growth industries of the future, as well as making investments in UK resilience and nature.
- By creating the UK Infrastructure Bank the UK joins other major economies which all have comparable vehicles for channelling public investment into economic growth and prosperity3, mobilising private sector investment by sharing risk, defining ambition and increasing technical capacity.
- This year the UK will publish a Net Zero Strategy4 setting out its plan for meeting and financing the net zero emissions target. This bank will be an important element of the strategy. It will be important that the Bank is adequately capitalised over time5 so that it can invest in line with the scale of the UK’s needs.
Quote on UK Infrastructure Bank launch
Kate Levick, Sustainable Finance Associate Director of E3G said:
“We welcome the launch of the UK Infrastructure Bank to channel public investment into the industries that will drive future economic growth across a net zero UK. The Bank must be a long-term institution that is sufficiently capitalised over time, playing a leading role in the UK’s plan to finance the climate transition and sending a clear signal to markets.”
Heather McKay, Sustainable Finance Policy Advisor of E3G said:
“The launch of the UK Infrastructure Bank is a very welcome step from government towards funding the UK’s green recovery. The Bank’s dual mandates must work hand in hand, as we won’t be able to level up for the long term without investing across the UK in the sustainable infrastructure, jobs and skills needed to achieve net-zero. If the Government wants to Build Back Better, the Bank must Build Back Green.”
Julian Havers, E3G expert on public banks and just transition said:
“The new UK infrastructure finance bank can become a key tool to translate the UK’s climate policy-ambition into real investment and job opportunities. Across Europe and globally public banks have been at the forefront of the Net-Zero transition. The newly established UK infrastructure bank can only become effective as fast as it can learn from them and their experiences and best practices. It needs to become a learning institution.”
Available for comment
Kate Levick, Associate Director, Sustainable Finance, E3G
m: +44 (0) 7983 484573, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather McKay, Policy Advisor, Sustainable Finance, E3G
m: +44 (0) 770 727 5359, email@example.com
- E3G is an independent climate change think tank accelerating the transition to a climate safe world. E3G specialises in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance. E3G played a major role in the creation of the UK’s previous Green Investment Bank.
- For example, Germany’s KfW has capitalisation of £80bn and covers 90% of its borrowing needs in the capital markets.
- See E3G (2021) Financing the net zero transition – E3G
- Capitalisation needs for a new National Investment Bank have been estimated at £4 bn/year over five years by various analysts, e.g. Lord Stern and Tim Besley (Royal Economics Society, May 2020)
- See E3G (2021) UK Infrastructure Bank investment principles – E3G