Campaigners have called into question the Green Investment Bank’s environmental credentials if the lender is sold to Australia-based Macquarie Group.

Environmentalists questioned Macquarie’s record, including its investments in coal miners in Australia and Colombia.

Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director of the Biofuelwatch environmental group, said: “Even under government ownership, the Green Investment Bank has made some very questionable investments, none more so than their loan for Drax, who now burn more wood every year than the UK produces annually, much of it from clear-cut coastal wetland forests in the southern US, and who still burn around six million tonnes of coal a year, too.
“The sale of the GIB to a big fossil fuel investor gives us no confidence that wiser investment decisions will be made in future.”

‘Green’ moniker

Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator for the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), added: “So long as the GIB invests in projects such as waste incineration and biomass incineration that result in the release of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases a year they should not be allowed to describe themselves as ‘green’.

“We had hoped that anybody looking to take on the ‘green’ moniker would commit to a complete moratorium on investments that involve the burning or gasification of waste and biomass.
“However, Macquarie’s past record leaves us with deep concerns.”

> Read Biofuelwatch's statement