WASHINGTON, D.C.– In a new letter to congressional leadership, ten governors on the front lines of the climate crisis are calling on Congress to pass the Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator, or federal green bank, into law, because doing so would be one of “the most impactful actions to protect our climate.” The Accelerator was included in the budget resolution passed by the Senate and House last month. The letter was signed by Governors Gavin Newsom (CA); Ned Lamont (CT); David Ige (HI); Janet Mills (ME); Steve Sisolak (NV); Kathy Hochul (NY); Kate Brown (OR); Tom Wolf (PA); Dan McKee (RI); and Jay Inslee (WA).
“Each of the elements of the Build Back Better Agenda are worthy of inclusion in an infrastructure package,” wrote the governors, “but as Governors of states on the front line of the climate crisis, we place particular emphasis that the combined package includes the most impactful actions to protect our climate.”
The governors are urging Congress to “establish an accelerator to mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings; and clean transportation.”
They referenced extreme climate events currently impacting much of the country and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in calling for congressional action.
“Climate change is intensifying the wildfires that burn in the West, hurricanes that threaten the East, and extreme heat that endangers people and animals throughout the country. Now is the time for bold climate action,” they wrote. “The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report details what we already know – the window for preventing irreversible climate consequences is closing and we need to act quickly and comprehensively.”
“We thank these governors representing nearly 30% of the American population for reinforcing the urgency of this moment and recognizing the unique role the Accelerator will play in moving quickly and effectively to bring green investments to frontline communities,” said Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital. “State and local leaders are facing the consequences of climate change head on and they know that creating a national green bank will create millions of jobs, fuel our economic recovery and leverage public-private partnerships to invest in clean energy projects.”
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. 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. In a July letter to congressional leaders urging action on climate infrastructure, more than 140 mayors — a group known as “Climate Mayors” — called for the creation of a national green bank.
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. For more information, visit: https://coalitionforgreencapital.com/.