Green bank huge opportunity for equality and environment

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Groups urge Scottish Government to grasp opportunity for fairer Scotland 

20th November 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Civil society organisations have demanded the Scottish Government ensures its proposed national investment bank makes the country more equal and environmentally friendly.

Responding to a public consultation on the bank’s creation, organisations including faith and environmental groups said it the new facility must make Scotland fairer and greener.

Unison, RSPB Scotland, SCIAF, Common Weal, Engender and Friends of the Earth Scotland are among the organisations which responded to the consultation.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the establishment of the investment bank in September as she outlined her Scottish Government's legislative programme for the coming year.

Engender executive director Emma Ritch said: “We see huge potential for the National Investment Bank to enable Scotland to move closer to gender equality.

“If designed with equality, non-discrimination, and inclusive growth at its heart, the Scottish National Investment Bank can support much-needed investment in child and social care, alongside green technologies.”

Environmental groups said the proposals offered the opportunity to build a greener future for Scotland. 

Friends of the Earth Scotland finance campaigner Rick Lander said: "Scotland urgently needs new sources of public investment that can fund the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon economy.

"With the right remit, the Scottish national investment bank can fill this role, creating thousands of green jobs by transforming our transport, heating, housing and electricity.

"It can also remake our economy to benefit everyone with a governance model that represents Scotland's regions, industrial sectors, civil society and trade unions, and reflects the genders, abilities and ethnic backgrounds of our country."

It can remake our economy to benefit everyone - Rick Lander

A Scottish Government spokesman said it welcomed this contribution on the role of the bank from civil society organisations.

He said: "The Scottish Government recognises that inclusive growth, built on equality and respect for the environment, is essential.”

Nicola Sturgeon has appointed Benny Higgins, chief executive of Tesco Bank, to publish a set of proposals for the bank in February 2018.