Nigel Topping appointed non-executive director of National Infrastructure Bank

The UN’s High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping is amongst the names that have been appointed as a non-executive director of the National Infrastructure Bank (NIB), in a bid to steer the Government’s aims to increase investment in green projects and initiatives.


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Nigel Topping appointed non-executive director of National Infrastructure Bank

The UK's National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) launched 12 months ago, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak promising that it will funnel billions of pounds into the UK's net-zero transition

Nigel Topping, who is High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 and former chief executive of the We Mean Business coalition, has been appointed as non-executive director of the NIB.

Topping will work alongside Atom Bank’s chair Bridget Rosewell, Scorpio Tankers board member Marianne Økland and Tania Songini who holds various non-executive roles at The Private Infrastructure Development Group, Thrive Renewables, Guernsey Electricity, and the Energy Systems Catapult, as the first cohort of non-executive directors at the NIB.

The Chair of the UK Infrastructure Bank, Chris Grigg CBE said: “The appointment of this exceptional group of non-executive directors is a real milestone for the Bank, as we approach our one-year anniversary and prepare to publish our strategy in the coming weeks.

“I am very pleased we’ve secured such a diverse and globally experienced team, who will help us build on the great start we’ve made to deliver against our mission and support a culture of innovation, learning and excellence as we grow.”

The UK’s National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) launched 12 months ago, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak promising that it will funnel billions of pounds into the UK’s net-zero transition.

The NIB was first announced by Sunak at the 2020 Spending Review. It is designed to support major infrastructure projects, replacing the role that the European Investment Bank (EIB) played before Brexit and assisting with the delivery of the National Infrastructure Strategy. That Strategy was updated in November 2020, with the UK’s 2050 net-zero target and impact of Covid-19 on the economy in mind.

Based in Leeds, the NIB has received £22bn of financial capacity in the first instance; £10bn of government guarantees, £5bn of equity and £7bn of debt. It has a target to help unlock at least £40bn of investment from the private sector.

Green groups have repeatedly been asking for more information on how, exactly, the NIB will support the UK’s net-zero transition and be prevented from supporting projects that are not aligned with this long-term, legally binding climate vision.

Official documents from the NIB state that its core mission is “to partner with the private sector and local government to increase infrastructure investment to help to tackle climate change and promote economic growth across the regions and nations of the UK”.

edie spoke to Topping live from COP26 last November. Speaking to edie’s content director Luke Nicholls at the climate summit, Topping said firms should start moving through the four ‘P’s of the Race to Zero (Pledge, Plan, Proceed and Publish). Watch the video interview here.

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