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BEIS defends Green Bank sale

Hurd: State-owned asset will be ‘unfettered’ post-privatisation

BEIS defends Green Bank sale image

Climate and industry minister Nick Hurd has defended the decision to privatise the Green Investment Bank, saying it would be “unfettered” by restrictions of state ownership.

In a Parliamentary debate following Green MP Caroline Lucas’ urgent question on whether the sale should be halted, Hurd said the UK government wants to “liberate” the GIB to do more.

The minister said the GIB may have served its purpose of correcting market failure of not enough green finance being mobilised.

Hurd made no comment on the widespread expectation that Australian bank Macquarie would be acquiring the state asset established in 2012 with £3.8bn of public funds.

The minister did not refute suggestions that the GIB in its privatised form could finance shale gas fracking, but said the government’s ‘special share’ would ensure projects will have to meet green criteria.

Image: GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury (GIB)

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