Caroline Lucas granted Urgent Question on ‘asset stripping’ of the Green Investment Bank

11 January 2017

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has been granted an Urgent Question in Parliament today on the proposed sale and potential asset stripping of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). Lucas will press a Government minister on the issue immediately after Prime Minister’s Question Time (12.30pm).

Lucas will use her Urgent Question to highlight serious concerns raised by a number of people, including former Business Secretary Vince Cable, that the company set to buy the GIB is likely to strip it of its assets, leaving it unfit for purpose.

The Urgent Question, which is backed by former Labour leader Ed Miliband, comes after evidence came to light yesterday which suggests the GIB is in peril. An investigation by E3G and Energydesk revealed that over the last three months a number of significant changes have taken place within the internal structures of the Green Investment Bank. Between 22nd November and the 1st December 2016, the GIB established ten new subsidiary companies, each holding different assets that the GIB has invested in since its creation in 2012. This kind of restructuring could allow the new owner of the bank to sell assets with ease and possibly signal the end of the GIB as we know it.

Ahead of her Urgent Question Caroline Lucas MP said:

‘Not only does selling the GIB to Macquarie put the bank at existential risk, it also represents an awful deal for the taxpayer. In 2016, the GIB started to make a profit and it is projected to deliver an annual return of 10% for the foreseeable future.

‘With 2016 the hottest year on record, a climate-sceptic in the White House, and our (far from perfect) national climate targets in real danger, now is not the time to break up one of the UK most significant investors in clean, renewable energy.

‘We need bold and dynamic investors who can give confidence and stability to those forward-thinking businesses looking to support the just transition: the GIB is exactly that. To sell GIB to Macquarie would be to sell our future, and the Government must think again before making this profound mistake..”

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