Image credit: Friends of the Earth UK
Brian posted back in 2010 on plans by the UK's then Labour government to launch a $3bn Green Investment Bank that would pour funds into wind, solar and other clean tech opportunities. But with economic turbulence continuing, and government cuts hitting hard, there was much uncertainty whether the country's now Conservative/Liberal coalition government would come through on this pledge. That uncertainty has now been removed, and campaigners are popping the champagne corks. But there's still more campaigning to be done.
As Friends of the Earth campaigner Simon Bullock explains in the video above, the creation of the bank is not the only thing environmentalists are celebrating. They're also delighted about many of the details of how it will operate. From the news that it will be able to invest in energy efficiency in people's homes (as opposed to just building fancy new clean tech), to the fact that it will become a permanent institution enshrined in law (as opposed to a temporary government program)—it really does look like, for once, green campaigners have gotten most of what they ask for. There are, however, concerns that the bank will not be allowed to borrow money until 2015—something campaigners say is an unnecessary delay.
With the UK Government committing to legally binding, world-leading CO2 cuts too, it seems environmentalists in the UK are on a roll of late. Now the battle is heating up to make sure a new energy bill passing through Parliament has the teeth it needs to deliver the cuts the government has promised.
British campaigners seem to be doing so well, perhaps we should ask them to have a word with the GOP on their climate antics too...