Shades of green in car industry bail-out

The British automotive industry is to receive more than £2bn in soft loans - but must make some environmental concessions if it is to get the cash.

Government’s bail-out package for the ailing industry is in keeping with its recession-busting mantra of ‘greening the economic recovery’.

It was announced by Business Secretary Peter Mandelson earlier in the week and included a caveat that loans will not be available unless the fund projects that ‘further the UK objectives on low carbon and green technology’.

The package includes:

  • Guarantees to unlock loans of up to £1.3bn European Investment Bank (EIB) guarantees for investment in lower carbon initiatives
  • Loans or loan guarantees to support of up to £1bn of lending for lower carbon initiatives for non-EIB backed projects

Peter Mandelson said: “Britain needs an economy with less financial engineering and more real engineering. The car industry can and should be a vibrant part of that future.

“The steps we are taking will help companies speed their way to becoming greener, more innovative and more productive. This is the route to securing jobs for the long term as we build a more balanced economy for Britain’s future.”

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Sam Bond

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