For immediate use: Wednesday 4th August 2010
POLITICAL / ENERGY / ECONOMY CORRESPONDENTS
Plans for a Green investment bank, to channel public and private sector investment into energy infrastructure should include basing the bank in Scotland.
SNP MSP Rob Gibson, a member of both the Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committees who also sat on the recent Scottish Parliament inquiry into banking said today that the new £2 billion public investment bank should be based in Scotland to bring it closer to the industry and to the parts of the country that will contribute most to building a low carbon economy.
Last week further research by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise demonstrated the benefits that could be delivered by improvements in our energy infrastructure and the contribution key Scottish ports could play in building the offshore green energy industry.
Mr Gibson has today written to the UK Energy Minister and the Scottish Secretary urging them to base the bank in Scotland, and to Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather seeking Scottish Government support for such a move. He has also laid a motion in the Scottish Parliament to gather cross party support for such a move.
Mr Gibson, a Highlands and Islands MSP said:
“There is cross party commitment to a UK wide Green Investment Bank that will help to direct investment to the industries, improvements and key areas that can and will build a new green economy.
“A Green Investment bank must be close to the people and industries it is working with, to understand the needs of the industry and the benefits that can come from key investment in the right places.
“Scotland has the energy industry, the financial sector and the green potential to make this the perfect location. We are leading renewables and particularly off shore energy development. The best way to understand what the industry needs to fulfil its potential is to be amongst that industry.
"These elements - particularly the proximity to companies and individuals actually working at the front line of decarbonising our economy cannot be accessed anywhere else.
“Scotland is widely recognised as having enormous potential to develop on shore and off shore renewable energy with wave and tidal power resources in areas like the Pentland Firth that can truly put Scotland at the forefront of the green economy.
“All parts of the UK have a contribution to make but there can be no denying Scotland’s significant potential and the need for infrastructure investment to bring the offshore energy potential on shore and into use.
“Along with opening up access to Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Levy to support investment in Scotland and introducing a fair transmission charging regime locating the Green Investment Bank within Scotland’s renewable and financial industries would finally show a UK Government that understood Scotland’s renewable potential.”
1.GREEN INVESTMENT BANK: That the Parliament notes the UK Government's proposal for a Green Investment Bank, which would channel public and private sector investment into energy infrastructure; recognises Scotland's enormous potential to develop on shore and off shore renewable energy with wave and tidal power resources in areas like the Pentland Firth and therefore urges the UK Government to base the GIB in Scotland near the companies and individuals working at the front line of decarbonising the economy which, along with opening up access to Scotland's Fossil Fuel Levy and introducing a fair transmission charging regime, would demonstrate the UK Government's understanding of and commitment to Scotland's renewables potential.