Jay Inslee: First 2020 Presidential Candidate to Endorse a Federal Green Bank

Today Washington Governor and 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee presented his $9 trillion “Evergreen Economy Plan.” The plan includes the creation of a $90 billion federal Green Bank called the Clean Energy Deployment Authority (CEDA).

Governor Inslee is the first presidential candidate to formally propose the creation of a federal Green Bank to catalyze greater total clean energy investment using public capital. Supporters of the Green New Deal and other presidential candidates have said that a Green Bank or related federal investment vehicles are crucial to addressing climate change. Governor Inslee is the first candidate to provide a blueprint for what federal investment in clean energy deployment would look like in 2021. As outlined in his plan, the Green Bank is not only a tool to address climate change. It would establish America’s economic and clean energy leadership and create jobs across the country.

Modelled on the CEDA legislation Governor Inslee first introduced in Congress in 2009, the federal Green Bank would provide low-cost loans and guarantees to accelerate clean energy deployment. The plan calls for the creation of CEDA as an independent non-profit federal financing authority outside of government.

It would finance all technologies that enable clean energy deployment and can accelerate the clean energy transition. It would work directly with state and local intermediary finance organizations. This includes state and local Green Banks, infrastructure finance authorities, CDFIs and others. This ensures that local clean energy market needs are met with federal financing and local expertise. In addition, CEDA will provide investment support to expedite the retirement of coal plants and other fossil fuel infrastructure. This is consistent with the Governor’s climate plan presented earlier this month.

Governor Inslee’s Green Bank plan provides the essential policy blueprint for turning large climate ambitions and targets into reality. It is built on a proven Green Bank model and works in concert with existing actors so capital can flow quickly. $90 billion of public capital can catalyze multiples of that in total investment, leveraging private and philanthropic investment to address underserved clean energy market segments.

Read CGC’s Framework for a National Green Bank policy for more information, and stay tuned for more analysis on this and other federal Green Bank plans.

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