For immediate use: Wednesday 18th August 2010
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has given his support to Highlands MSP Rob Gibson's call for a new Green Investment Bank (GIB) to be based in Scotland.
Mr Gibson, Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Economy & Energy Committee, wrote to Mr Swinney and UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to argue that any UK bank which is designed to channel public and private sector investment into energy infrastructure should be located at the heart of the industry the funds would benefit. Known as the Saudi Arabia of renewable resources, Mr Gibson appealed for the Scottish Government's support in ensuring the UK Government located GIB HQ in Scotland.
In his reply, Mr Swinney outlined the reasons behind his support, saying:
"We have already identified the need for investment in renewables through the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, and highlighted the benefits this can bring to Scotland and the UK as a whole. This, coupled with our outstanding reputation in financial services, means that we would welcome the GIB being located in Scotland."
Commenting, Mr Gibson said:
"It is crucial that Scotland's contribution to the renewable energy sector is recognised, and I am pleased to see John Swinney's unequivocal recognition of Scotland's ideal position in putting a new GIB to good use.
"Scotland has the energy industry, the financial sector and the green potential to make this the perfect location for a new green investment bank.
"These elements - particularly the proximity to companies and individuals actually working at the front line of decarbonising our economy cannot be accessed anywhere else.
"I am still awaiting a reply from the UK Energy Secretary, Scottish Secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury and can only hope they will see the obvious benefits of this business case.
John Swinney's reply is attached. Mr Gibson is awaiting a response from the UK Government
Rob Gibson's motion calling for the GIB to be based in Scotland is below:
S3M-06785 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish National Party): A Green Investment Bank in Scotland— That the Parliament notes the UK Government’s proposal for a green investment bank (GIB), which would channel public and private sector investment into energy infrastructure; considers that Scotland has enormous potential to develop on and offshore renewable energy with wave and tidal power resources in areas such as the Pentland Firth, and therefore urges the UK Government to base the GIB in Scotland near the companies and individuals working at the frontline 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.