UK green bank extends R1bn in loans to clean projects

Britain's Green Investment Bank (GIB) said it allocated £635-million pounds in funding over its first five months of operation.

The bank, which opened in November 2012 and is capitalised with £3-billion in government money, supported 11 projects over its first five months, most of which manage or produce energy from waste.

Britain needs to drastically cut its carbon emissions by 2020 and set up the GIB in Edinburgh to help finance projects that reduce the intensity of climate-harming greenhouse gases.

The single largest deal struck by the bank, which employs 74 staff and expects to count 100 by the end of the year, was for £125-million to help finance the government's programme to improve home insulation, known as the Green Deal.

The bank said its own investments unlocked an additional £1.7-billion of third-party lending.

Massive loans
A 100-million pound loan to UK power producer Drax, for example, resulted in another £890-million in lending from other parties for a project to transform half of its coal capacity to burn biomass instead.

"Today's results show that the bank is doing precisely what we set it up to do – draw in and not shut out private sector capital," said Britain's business secretary, Vince Cable, who helped set up the institution.

The bank's effectiveness has been criticised as it is not able to borrow money itself.

Powers for the bank to raise funds were expected to come into force around 2015, but the government said on Thursday the bank did not need to borrow in the short- to medium-term.

"The level of funding for the GIB after 2014/15 will be determined at the next spending review," said a spokesperson for the department for business. – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Guest Author

Related stories

Eskom’s emissions are not compatible with the South African constitution

The government must not cave to Eskom’s demand that it be exempt from air pollution rules. Furthermore, the power utility needs to stay true to the principles of its own just transition strategy

The world’s warriors are under attack, but we must keep on fighting

The murder of Fikile Ntshangase in KwaZulu-Natal was not an isolated incident. Around the globe, from Nigeria to Brazil, environmental activists are similarly being silenced, and it is our duty to continue this struggle

South Africa wins Newton prize for ocean science and food security

The award recognises the essential contribution to research made by a team studying the Western Indian Ocean which faces an ecosystems and livelihoods disaster

Barbara Creecy: ‘You can make a difference if you want to’

The minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, likes to watch the British medical drama series Casualty, she tells Sheree Bega

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

Air pollution link in 15% of global Covid-19 deaths

Researchers have found that, because ambient fine particulate air pollution aggravates comorbidities, it could play a factor in coronavirus fatalities

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…