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U.K.’s Huhne Turns Up Pressure for ‘Green’ Bank, Guardian Says

Chris Huhne, Britain’s energy and climate change secretary, signalled criticism of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and the Treasury over their attitude to plans for a government-backed “green” investment bank, the Guardian reported.

Speaking at a private meeting of London financiers, Huhne, a Liberal Democrat member of the coalition government, drew an analogy between the Treasury’s reluctance to establish an investment bank in the full sense of the word and its vetoing of demands for a bank to finance small companies in the 1930s, the newspaper said.

Huhne wants a green bank, which would help to finance clean power stations, offshore wind farms and “smart” electricity grids, to be able to raise capital by selling state-backed “green bonds,” facilitating early-stage investment in riskier projects, the Guardian said.

While Huhne refrained from criticizing the Treasury directly, the audience of financiers “was left in no doubt of the message” he was sending, the newspaper added, without identifying its informants.

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