Alyn Welcomes Green Investment Bank To Edinburgh

Alyn Smith, SNP MEP and Member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee, and Edinburgh resident, has today (Thursday) welcomed the news that Edinburgh will be home to the Green Investment Bank HQ.

Alyn said:

"This is the right decision, and is good news for Scotland.

"Edinburgh was one of 19 cities in the running to site the headquarters of the bank. The GIB will set up with £3bn of public money to help firms finance early-stage renewable energy schemes. Climate change is bigger than any one country and it is right that the EU is, in turn, also committing real cash to real projects. Scotland has a natural comparative advantage in renewables, finance and green tech, so it is only natural that the Bank should be based in Edinburgh and work across borders to encourage projects.

"We had a uniquely compelling case to site the bank in Edinburgh; Scotland has a unique mix of natural resource, cutting edge research and practical engineering expertise. International heavyweight companies are already active in the sector and our human social geography means you can get everyone into one room and collaboration is natural.

"Of course, we await much of the detail on the proposal.

"I look forward to hearing about job specs, the location of the HQ and how it will be structured.  While I understand the intention is for some of the GIB's functions to be based in the City of London, I would be keen to see all senior and operational staff to be based, permanently, in Edinburgh.  By all means the GIB may feel the need some satellite operations in London, or indeed Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo or Dubai for that matter, but if the actual operational headquarters is not in Edinburgh then this will be viewed with some scepticism.

"Scotland has a natural comparative advantage as the HQ location, and given we have been promised the GIB will operate as a commercial entity - an assurance I'll accept at face value - then there is a clear case for it being here. If on the other hand it is a politically driven exercise in window dressing and spin then it will soon be shown to be something of an irrelevance and our Green economic potential deserves better."