New partnership and funding will combine power of green banks to mobilize private investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency
As countries work toward a new international climate agreement in Paris, a group of six green banks and two leading non-profit groups announced they are establishing a Green Bank Network to help meet the urgent need of increasing and accelerating investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide.
This green bank network potentially could bring billions of dollars in new investment to speed the development of clean energy, creating jobs and helping reduce climate change.
Green banks are public entities created to partner with the private sector to increase investment in clean energy and bring clean energy financing into the mainstream. They are a relatively new phenomenon that has been successful in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and several U.S. states.
The founding partners of this major clean energy initiative are the UK Green Investment Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, NY Green Bank, the Green Fund (Japan), Malaysian Green Technology Corporation and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia), and the network plans to expand rapidly.
The banks have appointed the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC), which are experienced in the development of green banks, to spearhead the creation of the network. ClimateWorks Foundation has agreed to provide seed funding.
“Meeting commitments coming out of Paris will require a profound transformation in global energy investment,” said Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions at NRDC. “The Green Bank Network is a critical tool in this process and NRDC is excited to help facilitate the global scale-up of green banking.”
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will use its convening power to facilitate the sharing of experience between green banks and countries interested in creating them, building on the OECD-Bloomberg Philanthropies green banks policy guide released today.
With nations around the world making new commitments to reducing heat-trapping pollution, more capital than ever will be needed for clean energy solutions. Green banks can help stimulate the private investments necessary for nations to meet their commitments.
The network will increase the global impact of green banks by enabling them to collaborate more effectively, share and leverage individual bank experiences, publicize achievements and grow the ranks of green banks worldwide.
The UK Green Investment Bank is now the most active investor in the UK’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. Financing initiatives by the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) are delivering least-cost emissions reductions, contributing to economic resilience and competitiveness. The Connecticut Green Bank has nearly quadrupled annual clean energy investment and deployment in that state in three years. NY Green Bank, the largest green bank in the U.S. and one of the newer green banks, is providing market transformative financing solutions to advance solar, wind, and residential energy efficiency.
Green banks represented at a summit in New York last year said they collectively expected to deploy over $40 billion in capital for investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects over the next five years.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said, “Smart and innovative financing is crucial to developing renewable energy resources that allow us to tackle climate change. Here in New York, we have made great progress with NY Green Bank, and we are joining with other leaders to continue spurring the growth of a global clean energy economy. This will help to advance renewable energy around the world and build a sustainable economy both today and in the years ahead –ultimately ensuring a cleaner future for generations to come.”
Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut said, “When it comes to climate change, in Connecticut we’ve been dedicated to tackling this issue, and committed to constant innovation because of the ramifications of inaction. We are taking aggressive action to combat climate change, with never-before-launched initiatives like our Green Bank. It’s not just important for the environment – it builds on our efforts to create good-paying jobs and support an advanced energy economy. That’s why, in addition to the significant steps we’ve already taken, we’ve committed to reducing carbon emissions 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.”
Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital said, “Finance is the foundation of the clean energy platform. Public-private investment partnerships will grow the global economy, and provide affordable sustainable energy to everyone on the planet.”
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive of the UK Green Investment Bank said, “Billions of dollars of investment must be channeled into renewable energy and energy efficiency projects over the next 15-20 years if the nations of the world are to fulfill their climate pledges. The founding members of the Green Bank Network have impressive track records in drawing private capital to low-carbon infrastructure, but by building the first collaborative global clean energy finance platform we are sending out a signal that more can be achieved by working together.”
CEFC Chief Executive Officer Oliver Yates said: “This network has the potential to help drive the faster roll out of successful business models and clean technologies globally. We are already seeing our organizations playing a significant role in accelerating private sector investment in clean energy and the CEFC looks forward to working closely with similar organizations to share our combined experience in financing renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emission technologies.”
Syed Ahmad Syed Mustafa, Vice President of Green Growth at GreenTech Malaysia, said, “GreenTech Malaysia is proud to be one of the founding partners of the world’s very first global Green Bank Network. Together with leading green banks, this network will open up access to a pool of financial resources, cross-country expertise and developmental opportunities to green establishments and entrepreneurs across the world to deliver on the aspirations of COP21.”
Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, said, “The Connecticut Green Bank looks forward to working with our Green Bank Network colleagues to accelerate the growth of clean energy deployment by leveraging public funds to attract more private capital investment to create jobs and confront climate change.”
Alfred Griffin, President of NY Green Bank, said “Today’s announcement recognizes that green banks around the world have all made tremendous progress in catalyzing private sector capital in clean energy markets, and this is the next step towards a more seamless network of institutions that will benefit from learning from each other’s experiences. We are proud that NY Green Bank – along with our Green Bank Network colleagues – will be able to more effectively utilize each other’s resources and experiences to bring clean energy investments into the mainstream.”
Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, said, “To achieve zero net greenhouse emissions globally by the end of this century, governments need to make full use of their capacity to leverage and unlock much larger flows of private investment in low-carbon infrastructure. Public green investment banks can help accelerate the shift to low-carbon investment at the national and sub-national levels.”
Here is another the green bank’s promise: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dsims/green_bank_network_to_turbocha.html
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