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Budget 2010: Government announces £2bn Green Investment Bank

01 April 2010 #Environment

Amongst other environmental measures, the star feature of the 2010 budget is the announcement of a £2bn Green Investment Bank (GIB).  The environmental measures announced in the 2010 budget include:

  • The streamlining of the existing £4bn of financial support for small and medium sized enterprises, which are to include businesses commercialising low carbon technologies
  • £60m to support the development of the offshore wind sector by building ports at which manufacturing and service businesses in the sector`s supply chain can relocate
  • Company car tax rate will be halved for ultra-low carbon cars
  • Commitment to reduce public sector carbon emissions by at least 30% by 2020
  • Commitment for energy market reform to provide ‘clean, secure and affordable energy over the long term`
  • Increase in landfill tax from 2014

Whilst the GIB has generally been welcome, it has been met with an air of caution.  Infrastructure investment to stop runaway climate change will need to be far greater than £2bn.  Additionally, others have made the point, and validly, that the £1bn to be contributed by the government (the other £1bn to be leveraged from the private sector) will depend on the sale of assets such as the Channel Tunnel rail link, which is likely to take some time, especially in current market conditions.  Though there is scepticism, the announcement of the GIB is a step in the right direction as it will go a long way to mitigate the risks perceived by the private sector, which continues to consider investment in the sector as a risky proposition.

Taken from The EIC Environmental Investment Network.

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