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Britain's Green Bank gets mixed reactions

March 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

LONDON, March 24 (UPI) -- Investment officials in London hailed a decision by the British government to increase funding for a green bank, though activists complained about delays.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced the British government was tripling the funds available for a Green Investment Bank and would allow the bank to raise money no later than 2015.

British Prime Minister David Cameron set out a platform of advancing a green economy while trying to cut a record budget deficit.

The bank starts operations in 2012 and will encourage investments in renewable energy technology. Accounting firms said the budget plans fall short of what's needed, though Ben Caldecott with the environmental investment group Climate Change Capital told Bloomberg News that Osborne's plans were spot on.

"It is a tremendously good thing that the bank will have the power to borrow mid-decade," he said.

But Doug Parr with Greenpeace complained the 2015 benchmark was too little too late.

"The refusal to allow it to borrow money anytime soon represents a huge missed opportunity with the price being paid in lost green growth and clean-tech jobs," he said.

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