The Government has confirmed that the Green Investment Bank (GIB) will not be used to fund flood defence projects. This resolves some confusion created last month in an update on the GIB published by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS). That update included references to investment requirements for flood defences.
Following is the answer from Business minister Mark Prisk to a written question put in Parliament by Labour MP Willie Bain:
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the potential sums to be spent on flood defence projects by the Green Investment Bank in the first three years of its operation.The GIB is a new initiative intended to "unlock" private investment for green infrastructure projects.
Mr Prisk: Flood defence projects in themselves do not generate revenue streams which can help fund the costs of any capital provided by the Green Investment Bank (GIB) or pay back other sources of financing. The benefits of flood defence projects tend to be in terms of avoided losses, land and property values, and insurability against flood damages. We do not therefore anticipate that the GIB will be making any such investments.
The full information:
Flood Control: Finance (House of Commons Written Answers, Hansard 14 June 2011)Additional links:
'Minister vetoes green bank cash for flood schemes' (Insurance Times, 16 June 2011)
'Update on the design of the Green Investment Bank' (BIS, 24 May 2011)
'Nuclear power and flood defences in line for green investment bank cash' (Guardian, 24 May 2011)