The Green Investment Bank is vital because it funds innovative but high-risk low-carbon projects. This is crucial in Scotland where we have a huge amount of green energy potential. But in order for low carbon energy to become a low cost energy option we need investment in research and development.
I am extremely concerned about the privatisation of this important institution. Even more so since the reports that the privatisation may result in an asset stripping exercise. This goes against previous commitments made to the Scottish Government.
At the very least we have asked for guarantees that the Bank will remain headquartered in Edinburgh, that the highly skilled jobs within the Bank will be retained and the Bank’s green purpose – which enables it to invest in innovative new renewable technologies – will be protected.
In Scotland almost 50% of our electricity consumption is now coming from renewable sources. The GIB plays a key role in driving the green economy and we must keep investing so that this can continue to increase.
If the GIB is allowed to be asset stripped it will just become another investment bank. And quite frankly we have enough of those already.
Both the Scottish Government and SNP MPs at Westminster will continue to press the UK Government for further commitments to protect the GIB so that we can drive forward the green agenda, promote future growth and create more jobs both within the organisation and the wider sector.
Four weeks ago I was worried about writing this column on the eve of the last major parliamentary debate on Brexit. Anything could have happened, rendering my speculation obsolete by the time you read it. I shouldn’t have fretted. Anything could have happened but nothing did.
Here I am again. Groundhog day. It’s Tuesday. There’s a big debate tomorrow.
Tuesday. Another day spent discussing Brexit. Another day of my life I’m not getting back.
We are no further forward. As the clock ticks down to exit it’s only fair to ask: What the hell is Theresa May playing at?