Green Investment Bank

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2012.

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Photo of George Adam George Adam Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government what the environmental benefits will be for Scotland of the Green Investment Bank. (S4O-01602)

Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

The UK Green Investment Bank is the world’s first investment bank dedicated solely to greening the economy. The bank is designed to provide financial solutions to accelerate private sector investment in the green economy by addressing market failures that affect green infrastructure projects—projects that are needed to help us to achieve the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which is currently progressing through the United Kingdom Parliament, will enshrine the bank’s green purposes in statute. The Scottish Parliament passed a legislative consent motion on 18 September 2012 to agree to those green purposes.

Funding support from the bank could provide a wide range of environmental benefits through investments made in Scotland. The Scottish Government is working closely with the UK Green Investment Bank to help to secure that investment for Scotland.

The bank’s chief executive has promised to put together a holistic set of measures for the bank’s performance. I expect the bank to report in due course on the environmental benefits of its activities.

Photo of George Adam George Adam Scottish National Party

Last week, a Scottish Renewables report showed that investment in clean, green energy is set to break the £1 billion mark this year. Will the minister assure me that the Scottish Government will continue to give the industry the certainty that it needs to continue that unprecedented investment, rather than the infighting and uncertainty generated by the Con-Dem coalition?

Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

Yes. Our policy of aiming to provide the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 has provided such certainty. We recently committed to achieving a new interim target of 50 per cent by 2015 on the way to that target.

This year, we also launched Scotland’s renewable energy investment fund, which was capitalised with £103 million of Scotland’s fossil fuel levy moneys that were returned to Scotland. With an initial focus on marine, district heating and community renewables, it is deliberately complementary to funding offered by the Green Investment Bank, which the remaining £103 million of Scotland’s fossil fuel levy helped to capitalise.