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Green Investment Bank

Accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy

On 25 April 2013 the UK Government enshrined in Statute the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) after a four year campaign coordinated by Transform UK, the alliance building wing of E3G. Now up and running the GIB is the world’s first public bank dedicated exclusively to financing low carbon and green infrastructure and business.

In April 2010 the UK Government allocated £3 billion in start up capital to the institution and soon after the GIB – operating in its ‘shadow form’ known as UK Green Investments – made its first investments.  It’s priority sectors are industrial and domestic energy efficiency, offshore wind, waste and bioenergy.  It was fully up and running as an independent institution, the UK Green Investment Bank by November 2012.

Four years ago, the first paper produced by E3G and Climate Change Capital set out the case for the GIB and Green Bonds.  The campaign began one month later when a letter, coordinated by Transform UK, was published in the Guardian. It was signed by a coalition of NGOs and businesses calling on the Chancellor to include a GIB in the budget of March 2009.  This was the start of an intensive 4 year campaign by E3G and the Transform UK alliance to get the institution set up.  Cross party support was achieved before the election in 2010 and the new coalition Government then agreed to set up the GIB in legislation.

The GIB was not only E3G’s idea, we have also been at the heart of its development, from setting out the rationale, building consensus behind its design, helping overcome technical and political barriers and strengthening the legislation behind it.

This campaign leaves a legacy beyond simply the UK’s Green Investment Bank. Japan and Australia have already set up similar institutions and many other countries are considering it, including China and the US. Green public banks are set to now play a major role in helping to leverage private investment into delivering a global low carbon economy.