In advance of the UK Government spending review, Friends of the Earth Scotland today (15 October) called for the protection of funds for key green development initiatives, and the creation of a strong Green Investment Bank headquartered in Edinburgh.

The campaigners fear that the coalition government might reverse pledges to fund green development through a state investment bank, and to provide competitive funding to support offshore wind development and carbon capture demonstrations among others.

Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Chief Executive, said:

“The Chancellor has put all spending and investment under severe pressure, but green investment is one of the best ways to ensure a sustainable economic recovery.

“The sums involved are relatively small, but have the potential to lever in much more from the private sector, especially if the government also moves to immediately establish a strong Green Investment Bank with powers to borrow and to issue bonds, and a mandate to fund energy and resource efficiency and renewable energy.”

As the fourth largest financial centre in Europe and one with unrivalled experience in resource based industries and offshore development, Edinburgh is the natural location for a Green Investment Bank.

McLaren continued:

“Given the irrefutable case for the immediate establishment of a Green Investment Bank based in Scotland, it could be mandated to invest funds from the Offshore Wind Site Development Competition and from the Scottish Fossil Fuel Levy Fund to support the development of offshore renewables, in Scotland and beyond.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland is also part of a unprecedented coalition of green and industry groups including CBI Scotland and SCDI, calling today for the release by the Treasury of the Scottish Fossil Fuel Levy Fund – built up since 1996 by a levy on Scottish electricity consumers, and ring-fenced for the ‘promotion of renewable energy’ in Scotland.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland is a signatory to the Renewable UK campaign to retain the funding represented by the Offshore Wind Site Development Competition as a vital contribution to ensuring that investment in offshore wind turbine manufacturing facilities comes to the UK.

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk