Bill to boost green co-op investment fails to win government backing

Anna McMorrin’s bill would have allowed member-owned businesses to raise green finance on long-term sustainable projects

The private members bill brought by Labour MP Anna McMorrin to unlock sustainable investment for co-ops was defeated at its second reading in Parliament on Friday.

Ms McMorrin, MP for Cardiff North, said the law would have boosted local green jobs and skills. The plan was to allow co-ops and member-owned businesses to raise green finance to invest in long-term sustainable projects to deliver on climate change.

The bill was backed by the Co-op Party, with Gareth Thomas MP offering advice and support. The Party said: “Co-operatives have a huge potential to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” but – although it was co-sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake – it failed to secure government support.

Ms McMorrin said: “This was a missed opportunity. Too often we see big announcements on climate action from the UK government and no delivery.

“The Green Share Bill could have been a game changer. I’m disappointed the government didn’t support it but I hope we can continue to work together.”

Presenting the bill to the Commons on Friday, she said it promoted “positive social, environmental and ecomomic change” and would help tackle climate change “from the ground up”.

And she criticised “abject failure and staggering hypocrisy” in current attempts to tackle the climate emergency at a time when people are demanding change.

The bill would offer a legislative blueprint for how communities could work together to create a sustainable future, she told MPs.

She thanked ministers for their support when she assembled the bill but added she was disappointed the government was not going to support it.

MPs speaking up in support of the bill included Sarah Jones (Lab, Croydon North) who later tweeted: “At Anna McMorrin’s Green Share Bill debate, I mentioned brilliant co-ops in Croydon and South London focused on sustainability.

“The government should be supporting the Bill, which would be an important step to help communities and investors create a more sustainable living environment.”