On 17 October 2012, the Government announced that the UK Green Investment Bank will officially launch at the end of November 2012. On the same day, the European Commission announced it had decided under the EU State Aid Rules to approve the public funding granted by the UK Government to establish a Green Investment Bank. The approval is for a period of four years and covers only the state aid granted to the Green Investment Bank itself, and not any aid that may be granted by the bank to undertakings.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is being established to invest on commercial terms in projects in innovative, environmentally friendly areas for which sufficient funding from the markets cannot be obtained. These projects include those relating to offshore wind power generation, waste infrastructures, non-domestic energy efficiency, biofuels, biomass, carbon capture and storage, marine energy and renewable heat generation. The GIB will be capitalised with £3 billion of public funding.

Those seeking funding from the GIB will have to provide evidence that they have been denied funds or have not obtained all the necessary funding from market operators. The GIB's intervention will rest on an "additionality principle" so that, whenever possible, funding provided by the GIB will be in addition to market financing.