House provides $20B to create millions of jobs building clean energy infrastructure
At least 20% of funds required to go to low-income, minority communities
WASHINGTON —The Coalition for Green Capital today called on the U.S. Senate to pass the National Climate Bank Act after the House approved a similar measure for the second time in three months. By a bipartisan vote of 220-185, the House provided $20 billion for a nonprofit accelerator based on the National Climate Bank Act to build clean energy and transportation infrastructure and put millions back to work.
The nonprofit accelerator would use the proven green bank model to fund projects. With this $20 billion, more than 3 million jobs can be created. With $35 billion, 5.4 million jobs could be created. At least 20 percent of the funds must go to low-income and climate-impacted communities, many of which have also been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The climate and jobs crises our country faces did not take the summer off. The Senate shouldn’t either. It must act to put people back to work and reduce emissions,” Coalition for Green Capital founder and CEO Reed Hundt said. “We urge Senate leaders to use this tool that a dozen states have shown works to create millions of jobs.”
“Establishing the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator will serve as an important implementation tool to achieve a clean energy economy by publicly financing and stimulating private investments in clean, renewable energy projects, clean transportation, and support communities most effected by climate change,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell, the author of the National Climate Bank Act. “The Accelerator will finance critical infrastructure projects and mobilizes investment directly into the greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects most in need of capital. The expansion of these projects will create good jobs, a strong future workforce, and deliver a clean economy that works for communities in Michigan and across the country.”
The passage of the funding and legislation—based on H.R. 5416 and S. 2057 and introduced by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, respectively—comes after momentum for a National Climate Bank picked up this year.
In July, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden backed the concept and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, also cosponsored the National Climate Bank Act in the Senate. The Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis included a National Climate Bank nonprofit in its blueprint following the House’s lead.
Nearly 100 organizations have sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders requesting they include $20 billion to start a nonprofit National Climate Bank.
Authorized projects include renewable power, building efficiency, grid infrastructure like transmission, industrial decarbonization, clean transportation, reforestation and climate-resilient infrastructure. Because the dollars are repaid over time, they can be recycled to make additional investments in the future.
With 12 million Americans still filing for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and studies showing that up to 42 percent of those jobs will not return, Congress must urgently make long term investments that create jobs and build a cleaner future.
National polling shows eight out of 10 Americans want Congress to create clean energy jobs and seven out of 10 support depositing billions to achieve this.