Green banks: part of the climate solution and more resilient communities

NEW YORK – The new Cut Inflation Act is poised to make major investments across the country and in disadvantaged communities to more equitably spur the development of green technologies that reduce or avoid climate pollution, according to the attendees at a Climate Week green bank event today in New York City, featuring keynote speeches by Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, sponsors of legislation creating a national climate bank.

“The new climate bill can be a game-changer for the United States when it comes to investing in clean energy, climate action and equity, if implemented in the right way” , said Sarah Dougherty, director of the Green Finance Center of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). ) “Green banks have a proven track record of stimulating new private investment globally and creating new, self-sustaining markets for deploying climate solutions, including in low-income and marginalized communities. And they can play a key role in the United States in addressing the climate crisis and building resilient communities.

Other attendees at the event were Marcelo Rouco, CEO, Ecosave Inc.; Gregory Randolph, Managing Director, NY Green Bank; Jeffrey Diehl, CEO and Executive Director, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank; Eli Hopson, CEO, District of Columbia Green Bank; Bert Hunter, executive vice president and CIO, Connecticut Green Bank; and Sarah Davidson, Director, New York Green Bank.

The new law contains $27 billion for a greenhouse gas reduction fund that can be used by cities, state or tribal governments, new or existing green banks, and other longstanding institutions. like community development financial institutions and credit unions, to reduce climate pollution, clean the air and generate clean energy, with more than half of the funding explicitly going to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Green banks include stand-alone institutions and existing public development banks that are transformed with strong climate mandates and additional climate finance capacity. They can play a key role in advancing national climate priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund demonstrates that the United States is serious about investing in clean energy, efficient buildings, and resilient infrastructure in underserved communities, so that businesses, families, and individuals benefit cleaner air, better housing and infrastructure.

Around the world, green banks are a proven model. By sharing investment risk, building local capacity and transforming markets, green banks help cities, states and countries scale up climate action, ambition and move closer to climate goals in the framework of the international Paris Agreement on climate change.

Until mid-2021, Network of green banks members invested $54.4 billion globally to support renewable energy, energy efficiency and other projects worth $134.7 billion. Together, these green bank-backed projects would have avoided 48.03 million metric tons of carbon pollution, equivalent to taking 22.4 million cars off the road.

Here are the comments from the participants of the event:

“Green banks have an established record of helping to facilitate private investment to build climate-resilient infrastructure in communities around the world,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO and Executive Director, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “With significant funding under the Cut Inflation Act, we look forward to mobilizing additional private investment to help communities across our state and country be more resilient and better able to mitigate the impacts of climate impacts.”

“We have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the transformational impact that green finance can bring through a partnership between a national green bank, national and local green banks and community financial institutions, said Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank. “In our communities right here in DC, we are already seeing the benefits of green jobs, clean energy, and equitable development. This new economic paradigm will create a powerful enabling environment to ensure that the future is clean and green and that no community is left behind.

“We are very encouraged by the funding potential of the IRA to enable NY Green Bank, and other similar financial intermediaries working to advance green lending activities, to expand our funding more broadly across the New York State”, said Greg Randolph, Managing Director, NY Green Bank. “The developers and project sponsors we work with, especially those active in battery storage, are well placed to benefit from this landmark legislation. We also see a tremendous opportunity to accelerate our work to achieve the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act with these much-needed federal funds.

“Green Banks have proven that our model of leveraging public funds for attractive multiples of private investment is a success,” said Bert Hunter, executive vice president and CIO, Connecticut Green Bank. “In Connecticut, we have established a goal to direct no less than 40% of our program investments and benefits to vulnerable communities who are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change by 2025. reducing inflation will help amplify our impact and allow us to do even more.

###

The Network of green banks (GBN) is an NRDC-run membership organization that was founded in December 2015 to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between existing green banks, enabling them to share best practices and lessons learned. The GBN also aims to serve as a source of knowledge and a network for jurisdictions seeking to establish a green bank. GBN members are Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia), Connecticut Green Bank (USA), DC Green Bank (USA), GreenTech Malaysia, Minas Gerais Development Bank (Brazil), NY Green Bank (USA) , Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (United States) and Tata Cleantech Capital Limited (India). Visit us at greenbanknetwork.org/about-gbn.

The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international non-profit environmental organization with over 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health and the environment. The NRDC has offices in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Comments are closed.