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Huhne expresses veiled displeasure over Treasury's attitude to green bank

Energy and climate change secretary in disagreement with Chancellor, according to reports.

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne seem to be at loggerheads over their attitude to plans for a government-backed "green" investment bank, the Guardian has reported.

Huhne has likened the Treasury's stance on the level of government financial support for ambitious new green energy projects to the mistakes of the 1930s which prolonged the economic depression.

Speaking at a private meeting of London financiers, Huhne, a Liberal Democrat member of the coalition government, however, refrained from criticising the Treasury directly.

Huhne wants the "green bank" to facilitate investments amounting to £200bn which would help finance clean power stations, offshore wind farms and "smart" electricity grids, be able to raise capital by selling state-backed "green bonds," and facilitate early-stage investment in riskier projects, the Guardian said.

While Huhne and other backers of the plan were anxious not to antagonise Osborne or powerful officials at the Treasury, whose approval is required for the green bank to go ahead, the audience of financiers "was left in no doubt of the message" he was sending, the newspaper added, without identifying its informants.