A just transition to low carbon can drive economic transformation
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Scottish Government are creating a major new public bank: the Scottish National Investment Bank. This follows many years of work advocating for banking reform at a UK and Scottish level.
Scotland urgently needs public finance to stimulate a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.
That’s why in 2016, working with the New Economics Foundation and Common Weal, we published ‘Banking for the Common Good’ which proposed a new, publicly-owned and democratic approach to banking reform, including the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB).
The proposal received the support of UK Labour Party and the SNP membership. In September 2017 the Scottish Government announced they would create the Bank, earmarking funding in the budget and pubishing an implementation in February.
Organisations including UNISON, RSPB Scotland, SCIAF, Common Weal and Engender say that the Bank could make Scotland fairer and greener. We believe that if given the right mandate and leadership this new Bank could make the critical difference in funding a just transition to a low-carbon economy in Scotland.
Friends of the Earth Scotland believes the Scottish National Investment Bank must:
This is a vision for a powerful, public, green and ethical bank that invests for the common good of all. We strongly believe such a Bank is within reach, but it will not come about without effort.
Following the publication of the Scottish National Investment Bank’s Implementation Plan we are encouraged by the Scottish Government’s focus on inclusivity and addressing climate change, with the First Minister telling Friends of the Earth Scotland that it would be “unthinkable” for the Bank not to focus on low-carbon lending.
However we are concerned that the Bank’s good intentions could be undermined by its broader objective to increase economic growth, a lack of representation of marginalised groups in the Bank’s development, and the narrow ambition of its initial lending efforts
Professor Mariana Mazzucato researches public investment and sits on the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors. She spoke about the Scottish National Investment Bank at our event ‘Building the Future’ in October 2017.
Watch the event in full including a Q&A with Adair Turner at this link.
Friends of the Earth Scotland has been advocating for reform of Scotland’s Banks for some years. To delve into this issue further we recommend reading:
Parliamentary Briefing on the Scottish National Investment Bank published March 2018. Download here.
Banking for the Common Good report by Gemma Bone, published by Friends of the Earth Scotland, New Economics Foundation and Common Weal in 2016, asseses the banking crisis nearly a decade on and proposes a new local and national public banking architecture for Scotland, founded on a national investment bank. Download here.
Blueprint for a Scottish National Investment Bank report by Laurie McFarlane, published by the New Economics Foundation and Common Weal in 2016, outines how a Scottish National Investment Bank could be created by the Scottish Government. Download here.
Public Investment Banks: Towards a Better Model report published by the European Network on Debt and Development in 2017, reviews best (and worst) practice internationally for public investment banks. Download here.
Explainer: What exacty is a Scottish National Investment Bank and what will it do? Article by Sean Bell on Common Space, read here.