Headlines: July 26th, 2010

Research published today suggests transforming the Royal Bank of Scotland into the Green Investment Bank would kick start a green energy revolution and could create 50, 000 new green jobs a year. The report from former Pricewaterhouse Coopers consultant, James Leaton was commissioned by pressure group PLATFORM and the anti-poverty group the World Development Movement.

Today’s study shows the move would boost the economy, cut Britain’s carbon emissions and improve international competitiveness without increasing the budget deficit. The two organisations, which have campaigned for RBS to end its investment in high carbon projects, say there have been reports that the Government may scrap plans to use public money to back a Green Investment Bank.

Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement, said it would be irresponsible and short-sighted to scrap public investment in a low carbon economy. RBS, she said, was sitting on billions of pounds from the taxpayer and added: “The money we’ve invested in RBS should be directed towards green investment. It’s a no-brainer: not only wouldn’t it cost the taxpayer directly, it would boost the economy and create new jobs in the UK at a much-needed time.”

The report, ‘A Bank for the Future. Maximising public investment in a low carbon economy’ estimates that at least 200 billion pounds needs to be invested in energy infrastructure over the next 10 to15 years. James Leaton argues in the report that Government needs to bring together its banking reform and green agendas to set an example with RBS of how expertise in project finance, renewable energy and small business could contribute green jobs and infrastructure for the UK and beyond.