Tories pledge cash for recycling and green investment

A green investment bank and paying families to recycle were among a wave of schemes promised by the Conservatives - if they win the next election.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the green measures during a talk at Imperial College in London yesterday (24 November).

He promised a ‘new green investment bank to get new technologies out of the lab and into new businesses creating new jobs’.

And ‘new Green ISAs so any member of the public can be an investor in the green technology revolution’.

He also promised to pay families to recycle ‘as incentive to encourage them, not stinging them with bin taxes to punish them’.

He said: “A government prepared to lead by example and cut its own emissions by 10% in one year, and a government prepared to learn from companies like Tesco, BT and B&Q who have successfully cut emissions and energy use.

“The Treasury has a role in ensuring any emission scheme is efficient and effective, which has not always been the case with the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme so far.

“We want to see the trading scheme succeed, and that is why we will auction carbon permits, instead of giving them away.

“But in addition to trading schemes, and in order to put a predictable floor on the price of carbon, there is a role for green taxation.”

Reacting to Mr Osborne’s speech Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: “A new bank to drive money into green investment is a good proposal.

“We now need clarity on how the Conservatives would make this sufficiently ambitious to provide the tens of billions needed to create a low carbon economy and develop new green industries.

“We need to encourage long term investment from pension funds and savings schemes to fund clean energy projects.

“What’s missing from the debate is a green strategy for taxation that will reward companies and individuals that reduce their carbon emissions and save resources, and penalise those that needlessly pollute.”

Chairman of the Aldersgate Group a coalition of green thinking business groups, Peter Young, said: “The Conservative proposals for consultation on a Green Investment Bank is very encouraging.

“This was one of the major recommendations of a recent report from the Aldersgate Group, a green investment bank could play a major role in financing and accelerating the low-carbon transition, while acting as a useful intermediary between investors and policy makers.

“It would also be a major source of competitive advantage, ensuring the City of London remains at the forefront of clean tech financing and carbon markets.”

Luke Walsh

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