The National Climate Bank Campaign
More than three quarters of Americans believe human activity is responsible for climate change, and the same percentage want government to act to address climate change. Addressing climate change requires trillions of dollars of investment. $4.5 trillion of investment is needed in the U.S. to build a 100% renewable energy system. Without speed and scale, the inevitable environmental and economic damage threatens to radically reduce the standard of living and destroy much of the planet’s flora and fauna.
That is why in 2019 CGC launched the National Climate Bank Campaign to create a national green bank in the United States. Now, for the first time since a national Green Bank was passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in 2009, there is real momentum and a window of opportunity to create a National Climate Bank.
The National Climate Bank Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate in July 2019 by Senators Markey and Van Hollen. Companion legislation was introduced in the House in December 2019 by Rep. Debbie Dingell. In January 2020, that bill was included as part of the broader CLEAN Future Act.
- directs the federal government to deposit $35 billion in an independent non-profit corporation called the National Climate Bank, that is chartered for 30 years;
- says the Bank will be governed by a Board of Directors that are independent and cannot be government employees or political appointees;
- directs the Bank operate with an objective function of maximizing emissions reductions per public dollar deployed;
- prioritizes investments that deliver consumer benefits, which includes lower energy costs;
- directs at least 20% of its investments to “climate-impacted communities,” which includes low-income, minority, and frontline communities most effected by climate change;
- ensures consumer protection and safe lending for any residential lending activity; and
- upholds strong labor and wage standards for projects financed directly by the Banks.