The UK’s new national infrastructure bank is likely to make little impact on the quest to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and will fail to plug the gap left by EU investments in the UK, Labour has said. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, announced £12bn of public funding for the new bank in the budget on Wednesday, with another £10bn in government guarantees. The Office of Budget Responsibility found in its economic and fiscal outlook that the new bank would be likely to provide £1.5bn a year in investment and would not increase its forecast for the UK’s economic growth. A spokesperson told the Guardian it had not examined whether the bank would help the UK to meet its net zero targets. Labour said the bank was much smaller than similar banks in Germany and other countries, and contrasted its capital with the £5bn a year the UK gained from the European Investment Bank before Brexit. Labour also called for the bank to be given a “watertight net zero mandate” to ensure that all its investments work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without a strong mandate, the bank could invest in high-carbon activities.
Guardian 5th March 2021 read more »