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GIB's green focus protected

A ’special share’ is to be created as part of the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), with business secretary Sajid Javid saying it will protect the organisation’s green focus.

The share will be held by an independent company, subject to the successful conclusion of a transaction, which will then have to give consent if the GIB were to change its sustainable focus.

The bank’s ’green mission’ requires each individual investment to contribute to meeting one of five environmental purposes and a wider portfolio which makes a positive overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In June 2015, the Government announced plans to privatise the GIB by selling a majority of its shares. In October, it proposed changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 to facilitate reclassification of the GIB as a private sector enterprise.

Legislation including an opposition amendment to create a special share was passed in the House of Lords on 30 November.

Now the Government has given approval to the bank to move forward with the issuance of a special share.

GIB chair Lord Smith of Kelvin said: “I have always been confident that any new investor will be strongly committed to our green mission – our commitment to, and expertise in, green investment is the very reason they would be investing in us.

“That said, I understand the concern among some of our stakeholders over the legislative changes, so I am delighted we have been able to offer them the additional commitment that a special share will bring.”

Javid added: “Moving the GIB into private ownership makes sense. If you want it to have access to more capital, to make bigger investments and have a bigger impact in green sectors, it is the best course of action.

“To ensure the bank’s green credentials are maintained it plans to put a special share structure in place that protects its green mission and keeps it focused on what it does best.”

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