Senator Ed Markey: Climate Bank is key step towards delivering on the Green New Deal

This post originally appeared on the site of CGC’s campaign for a federal green bank.

As co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate, as well a host of other climate and environmental legislation, Senator Ed Markey has staked out a clear position as a climate and environmental justice champion. This week, he appeared in a packed a Stonehill College auditorium to discuss climate change, and emphasized the central role that a National Climate Bank could play in bringing this ambitious agenda into reality.

Mass Live reports:

Markey acknowledged that the Green New Deal does not have “individual prescriptions” on “how to get there,” but calls for a “revolution in every city and town and every campus,” with aggressive targets in “every sector” including automotive, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing.
 
“I know if we have a climate bank with billions of dollars, it could unleash trillions of dollars in investment to increase efficiency,” said Markey, who also called for raising fuel economy standards and tax incentives for those who buy electric vehicles.

His math checks out based on CGC’s analysis of the National Climate Bank Act that Sen. Markey (along with co-sponsoring Senators Chris Van Hollen, Brian Schatz, and Richard Blumenthal) introduced this summer. Based on proven techniques from existing institutions that mobilize capital, CGC found that the Climate Bank could drive private investment to achieve an impact many times greater than the public funds it starts with: up to $1 trillion if capitalized with $35 billion in public funds.

Experts increasingly underscore the fact that this level of scale and ambition is critical to address the magnitude of the climate crisis. A group of eleven thousand scientists signed on to a report last week stating in plain language that climate change is an emergency and we must transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. At the same time, some estimates suggest it will take $4.5 trillion over the next few decades to fully decarbonize the U.S. economy.

We need more clean energy investment, more quickly. The Green New Deal sets a direction, but more targeted steps are needed to deliver on its promise. Advocates and experts also increasingly recognize that these solutions must prioritize environmental justice and reduce consumer energy costs. Senator Markey’s leadership understands this and puts forward solutions like the National Climate Bank that present a real opportunity to win the war on climate change.

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