U.K. Hires Stern to Advise on Setting Up Green Investment Bank

The U.K. appointed Nicholas Stern, a former World Bank chief economist, to counsel the government on setting up a planned Green Investment Bank to expand industries that promote economic growth while curbing climate change.

The London School of Economics professor, who wrote a U.K. government report saying 1 percent of world output needed to be invested to avoid the worst effects of climate change, will join a panel of 10 advising the bank, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said today in a statement on its website.

The lender aims to help meet a pledge by Prime Minister David Cameron to make his administration the “greenest” in U.K. history, while eliminating the budget deficit by 2015. It will be capitalized with an initial 3 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) and is able to leverage another 15 billion pounds for green projects by 2014 or 2015, the government has said.

Other advisers include Simon Brooks, U.K. vice president of the European Investment Bank, and John Burnham, former managing director and global head of infrastructure at Citigroup Inc., with James Smith, former chairman of Shell U.K., and Bob Wigley, chairman of Yell Group Plc. The first meeting, chaired by Adrian Montague, 3i Group Plc non-executive chairman, will be Sept. 6.

“The group has wide-ranging credentials relating to energy and other environmentally important industries, hands-on financing experience and a deep understanding of infrastructure projects,” Business Secretary Vince Cable said in the statement.

Stern published the Stern Review, a study of climate-change economics, for the government in 2006. The green bank, backed by both the Conservative-led coalition and opposition Labour Party, will be ready to begin operations in 2012, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said in March.

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