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ICE “reassured” by positive report for Green Investment Bank

Institution welcomes new government report ahead of Comprehensive Spending Review.

The ICE has welcomed a report into how a Green Investment Bank could help to unlock infrastructure investment.
The report, published last week by the government-backed Green Investment Bank commision, wascommissioned by the government after the election.

It makes several recommendations about how the bank could operate and be funded, including setting up green ISAs and selling bonds.

It also proposed absorbing funds from soon-to-be-dismantled quangos such as the Carbon Trust.

The government will now review the recommendations and is expected to announce its plans after October’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The ICE has been calling for the establishment of a national infrastructure investment bank, and recently expressed concern that proposals for a Green Investment Bank might not be ambitious enough to attract the volume of investment Britain’s infrastructure needs.

The outgoing Labour government had also committed to a green investment bank, but with a start up fund of only £2bn.

ICE director general Tom Foulkes was reassured by the commission’s report.

“The Commission’s report is a positive step and they clearly recognise the scale of the funding challenge”

Tom Foulkes, ICE

“The commission’s report is a positive step and it clearly recognises the scale of the funding challenge and the need for intervention,” he said.

“The recommendation that such a bank should work in tandem with other government initiatives and be a permanent institution is also welcome - a long term strategic remit will be vital in creating a stable environment for private investors. 

“The report also includes a number of fund raising ideas with real merit - including selling green ISAs and recycling cash from infrastructure asset sales such as High Speed 1.

“We now look forward to the next steps towards establishing a green investment back that is ambitious enough and can operate in a way that reflects the scale of the task at hand,” said Foulkes.

Many billions of pounds will need to be channeled into our infrastructure to secure the UK’s future competitiveness and make the transition to a low carbon economy.”

The ICE is currently working with the environmental think tank Green Alliance to develop further detailed proposals on how a Green Investment Bank could work.

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