A government scheme for funding renewables is about to be sold off to a firm that backs fracking. We must stop this

Posted by Richard Casson — 3 February 2017 at 3:32pm - Comments
by. Credit: Left: Greenpeace / Right: Wikipedia

If you're on Greenpeace's email list, chances are you'll have just received an email about the Green Investment Bank - a government body that is currently being privatised. If the sale goes through as it stands, it could have devastating consequences on the UK renewable energy industry.

That's why we've launched an urgent campaign to pressure MPs to speak out against the sale. Here's the email in case you missed. You can take part by emailing your MP here.

Hi there,

Does this sound like a dodgy deal or what?

A little-known government body that channels billions of pounds into green projects and renewable power is on the verge of being privatised and sold off -- to a firm that backs fracking and coal!

A group of MPs have already spoken out against the government’s sell-off plans. With pressure mounting by the day, a backlash from more MPs could be enough to force a U-turn on the sale.

Can you quickly email your MP and ask them to speak out too?

EMAIL YOUR MP

The government body, known as the Green Investment Bank, is a government-owned bank that’s channelled billions of pounds into green projects and clean energy [1]. Since it was launched five years ago, the bank’s cash has led to more renewable projects getting off the ground -- and in turn helped the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions [2].

But now Theresa May’s government wants the green bank privatised and sold off. And it looks like a company called Macquarie, a firm that supports fracking and coal, and focuses on short-term profit, is set to buy it out.

Macquarie has a track record of ‘asset stripping’ -- taking over companies, breaking them apart, then selling off what it can to make a quick buck [3]. If it gets its hands on the Green Investment Bank, projects that are vital for driving innovation and growth in the UK renewables industry could end up being completely scrapped.

Should a company with a track record like this really be allowed to take over such a crucial strand of government-backed green energy work? Please email your MP today and ask them to use their influence to make sure this dodgy deal is ditched.

EMAIL YOUR MP

Since 2012, the Green Investment Bank has funded almost 100 green projects, from super-efficient street lighting in Glasgow, to innovation in offshore wind [4, 5]. It’s schemes like these that our government should be championing -- particularly right now, with job creation and green growth so urgent as we gear up for Brexit.

The government is already under fire from across the political spectrum. Green MP Caroline Lucas has spoken out against the ‘appalling track record’ of the firm that looks set to buy it. Tory MP Peter Aldous has called for a pause in the sell-off. And Labour MP Clive Lewis called for it to be stopped completely [6, 7].

But with plans afoot to sell off the green bank at any moment, we must urgently ask more MPs to make their views known too. Please click below to send an email to your MP. We’ve prepared some suggested text to help you write a message if you’re not sure what to say.

EMAIL YOUR MP

Thanks for all you do,

Richard
Greenpeace UK

NOTES
1. https://www.e3g.org/library/global-britain-needs-the-green-investment-bank
2. http://www.greeninvestmentbank.com/green-impact/green-impact-reports/
3. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3532903/Thames-Water-sale-Vampire-Kangaroo-investor-loaded-utility-firm-11-4bn-loans-dodge-tax-seeks-sell-stake.htm
4. http://www.greeninvestmentbank.com/our-investments/all-case-studies/
5. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/10/selling-off-green-investment-bank-final-nail-green-conservatism
6. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/11/green-investment-bank-theresa-may-macquarie-caroline-lucas
7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/11/mps-call-halt-green-investment-bank-sale/

Follow Greenpeace UK