The Green Party will establish a Green Investment Bank as a first step in accelerating New Zealand's transition to a smarter greener economy, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman announced today.
The Green Investment Bank will be an enduring, government-owned, for-profit bank partnering with the private sector to fund new projects ranging from renewable energy and biofuel production to new clean technologies.
"Like Kiwibank before it, the Green Investment Bank will combine the best of the public and private sectors to accelerate New Zealand's transition to a smarter, greener economy," said Dr Norman.
"The Bank will act as an independent and expert facilitator of private sector capital to secure billions of dollars of new investment into smart green innovation.
"The Green Bank will act as a catalyst for investment in the green economy. It will be a central instrument in transitioning investment away from polluting industries and into the clean and profitable investments of tomorrow.
"PricewaterhouseCoopers have estimated that the clean technology sector could be worth between $7.5 billion and $22 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2015. We want to ensure it's on the higher end of those forecasts.
"Considerable new investment opportunities lie in renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, the development and production of significant volumes of biofuels, and new clean technologies.
"The Bank will mirror the success of green banks overseas. There are successful precedents throughout Europe, Japan, and the USA with two of the newest green banks started in the UK and Australia.
"The Bank will cost $120 million over the next three years and will be paid for by raising oil mining royalty rates to those charged internationally."
Dr Norman was critical of National's failure to seize the economic opportunities presented by the cleantech revolution.
"The cleantech sector is taking off internationally but National has chosen to invest in the old economies - like mining and oil drilling - which are neither jobs-rich nor sustainable," Dr Norman said.
"The Green Investment Bank is one of a suite of new measures we will be announcing before the election to set New Zealand on the right track - creating good jobs in a high tech, low-carbon economy."