Washington, DC — In a letter to congressional leaders urging action on climate infrastructure, more than 140 mayors — a group known as “Climate Mayors” — are calling for the creation of a national green bank, or Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator. The mayors cite the Accelerator, which was included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, as a key solution that will help them “address climate change, create economic opportunity, and confront injustice all at once through the American Jobs Plan. Cities are ready to meet this moment and build an economy that is inclusive, robust, and sustainable.”
“The climate and equity crises we face are interrelated and have been compounded by Covid-19, and therefore must be addressed through collaborative, holistic thinking and bold, innovative ideas,” wrote the mayors. “We are committed to rebuilding stronger and better, to mitigate structural inequities, to tackle an increasingly destabilizing climate, and to build opportunities for Americans to thrive and reach their full potential. These goals require targeted investments in American cities to build out our nation’s sustainable infrastructure, to create well-paying ‘high road’ jobs, and to support a resilient, clean energy future.”
“Mayors across America know best how to address the challenges facing their cities and residents, and their push for the Accelerator is just the latest proof point that this is a critical policy that Congress must send to the President’s desk,” said Jeffrey Schub, executive director of the Coalition for Green Capital. “The Accelerator enjoys bipartisan and growing support because it enables targeting of public and private investment directed at disadvantaged communities, workforces, children afflicted by environmental harm, and consumers burdened by high costs of the existing energy platform. It will allow us to tackle the climate catastrophe head on and right away. We are grateful that local leaders are pressing the case to congressional leadership at this critical stage of negotiations.”
The mayors’ letter states:
“Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator. Establish a new organization or agency with at least $100 billion over five years to invest in clean energy, infrastructure, clean technology manufacturing, and resilient communities, with a focus on underserved communities. In creating a Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator (CESA), or Green Bank, CESA is expected to support state and local clean energy projects by: allocating funds to existing green banks across the country while helping cities create their own; assisting with projects that cross state borders; creating financial products for certified Small & Disadvantaged Businesses (DBE/SBES) to compete and perform on energy, building, and infrastructure projects; and providing technical assistance to local banks in developing underwriting criteria that incentivizes diversity and inclusion in the workforce and supply chain. CESA must ensure labor standards and domestic content requirements.”
President Biden included the Clean Energy Accelerator, a national green bank that would inject funding into state green banks, as a key climate provision in the American Jobs Plan, and the policy is included in the bipartisan infrastructure framework announced several weeks ago. Earlier this month, the U.S. House passed the bipartisan Accelerator as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), marking the third time the Accelerator has been passed by the chamber.
The Coalition for Green Capital has been the advocate of green bank creation since its founding in 2010. Currently there are 22 green banks in 16 states and the District and 21 more green banks in the pipeline. Most recently green banks were created in Maine and Colorado. Legislation to fund them at necessary scale is pending in the House (H.R. 806, a bipartisan Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and (S. 283, creating a National Climate Bank, introduced by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen).
ABOUT COALITION FOR GREEN CAPITAL
The Coalition for Green Capital (@CGreenCapital) is a non-profit with a mission to halt climate change by accelerating investment in clean energy technologies and by advocating for, creating and implementing green bank institutions. Green banks are a proven finance model that uses public and philanthropic funds to mobilize private investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other decarbonization technologies. For over a decade, the Coalition for Green Capital has led the Green Bank movement, working at the federal, state and local level in the U.S. and in countries around the world.