This week Joe Biden announced a $2-trillion climate plan. The ambitious plan would put the U.S. on an “irreversible course” toward a carbon-free energy sector by 2035.
One of the tools Biden looks to use to achieve this goal is an “innovative financing mechanisms that leverage private sector dollars to maximize investment in the clean energy revolution.”
The House just passed a bill containing this mechanism: The Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator. Senators have introduced the same mechanism under the name National Climate Bank.
Over the last 10 years, in more than a dozen states across the country, green banks have provided investments along with private sector funds to accelerate clean energy deployment. Biden’s Plan would endorse and expand these mechanisms. Green banks are an essential technique to achieve the goal of a 100% switch from carbon to clean electricity generation in 15 years.
Job creation in a post-COVID world is central to Biden’s plan; investing in clean energy, resilient infrastructure, clean transportation, housing, and school efficiency upgrades, and sustainable agriculture is the way to do it.
Biden’s plan also recognizes what the Coalition for Green Capital has both seen in states and proven with independent analysis: Green banks create jobs. And our country needs jobs of the future more than ever.
Biden plans “to create millions of jobs producing clean electric power for American families and businesses.”
According to a recent economic study by Vivid Economics, a National Green Bank capitalized at $35 billion would create 5.4 million new jobs in its first five years of operation ( Bounce Back Greener Vivid Economics, 2020).
The proposal also includes a significant commitment to environmental justice by “setting a goal that disadvantaged communities receive 40% of overall benefits of spending in the areas of clean energy and energy efficiency deployment; clean transit and transportation; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and development of critical clean water infrastructure”.
This matches perfectly with the mission and activities of a green bank to fill financing gaps and serve communities that are currently being excluded from the benefits of the clean economy.