The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is delighted that the new Government has taken the Institution’s calls for a green investment fund seriously and will continue to welcome news on how their Green Investment Bank will be financed.

Green technologies is now a global marketplace of $3 trillion but as result of a staggeringly low commitment from past governments, the UK has less than a five percent share of this market. We have a legal and moral responsibility to protect the environment, so CIWEM fully supports the GIB Commission’s recommendation that £550 billion worth of investment is needed to meet UK climate change and renewable energy targets between now and 2020.

CIWEM believes that low carbon investment is a vital part of our economic recovery, so we must develop new green businesses and industries across the country. However, the Government must also recognise that technology alone is not enough to confront climate change. Technological advances must be firmly rooted in development within environmental limits, which requires a fundamental shift away from conventional market-led consumerism to a new economic model that allows for more sustainable lifestyles. Increased funding for green job training, as well as mandatory refurbishment standards for sustainable homes, schools and other buildings are also vital.

CIWEM’s Executive Director, Nick Reeves, said: “The Green Investment Bank must offer value for money, investing in cutting edge renewable technologies that lead us to a genuinely competitive low carbon economy.”

“The railway mania of the 1800s was backed by a mind-boggling level of investment that was akin to treble the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP). This was infrastructure development and risk-taking on a massive scale that required numerous Acts of Parliament very quickly. Our carbon targets will be missed unless urgent action is taken to improve access to capital, so we urge the Government to fast track the development of their green bank. They are in a unique position: they can set the UK onto a trajectory of an adaptable, low-carbon society; or go down in history as the Government that failed to act in time.”

CIWEM now has great expectations for the Treasury’s planned low-carbon policy announcements scheduled for the autumn to demonstrate a true commitment to the environment.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world, www.ciwem.org

Source: CIWEM