I’m strongly in favour of a Green Investment Bank and if Bristol can be its home that’s great (see here, though beware the scary photo!). But is what the government is proposing a bank at all given that it will have no powers to borrow until 2016 at the earliest and only then if certain fiscal targets are met? And will it really be green in the sense of impacting big-time on establishing a sustainable society? There is a danger of it simply being there as a very limited pot of money that can’t impact much on the long term. £3 billion seems to have become up to £3 billion when the first figure was too low to begin with. It has to avoid putting money into dodgy energy from waste schemes to sustain green credibility too.
We’ve all seen reports of bank mismanagement in recent years. Will this bank have a board that turns out to be highly competent, broad-based and representative of economic, social and environmental priorities? It must be there for a broad range of purposes, foremost being beginning the establishment of a society we can sustain, generating quality of life for generations to come - profit in the broadest and best sense.