Last week Parliament debated the Green Investment Bank and I used my speech to support calls for it to be based in Edinburgh.
The GIB is being developed to facilitate the rapidly increasing investment required for the continued successful development of renewable energy technologies.
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce have made a robust case for the GIB to be located in Edinburgh and I used my speech to highlight some of the main arguments.
Edinburgh brings together fantastic expertise in both the financial and environmental sectors. In the finance sector, a wide range of organisations spanning every type and size of investment are well established in the city and a variety of service industries have developed to support that work.
Added to these sector specific qualifications, Edinburgh also offers great value for money and boasts fantastic transport links to renewable hubs across the UK and abroad.
In relation to renewables, there are a number of companies located within striking distance of the city and our universities offer world leading research and development and facilities. The challenge of this term of the Scottish Parliament is to make the most of the new ideas that are being developed in universities and companies across Scotland.
The SNP Government has set high targets for both renewables and carbon emission reduction. But we urgently need a strategy from the Scottish Government for the physical investment and support for higher and further education to make the most of our geographic advantage and ensure that we have a new generation of well qualified scientists, researchers and engineers equipped to lead the low carbon revolution that we need in our economy.
We also need the finance to get the low carbon revolution moving. Mobilising both private and public investment is crucial. Siting the Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh would help in that ambition. Let’s hope the UK Government makes the best choice for the UK.