UN Climate Report Underscores Need for Federal Green Bank

Report Comes as Senate Democrats Unveil Budget Resolution Including a Proposal to Fund Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator

August 9, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC 一 A report released today by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that global warming is happening at a faster rate than previously reported and stressed the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in green energy.

Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, issued the below statement in response to the report: 

“The UN IPCC report is a sobering reminder that we’re living in unprecedented times. The Clean Energy Accelerator, a national green bank that would inject funding into state green banks, is a key provision of the Biden Administration’s climate agenda and was included in the Senate’s budget resolution proposal released just this morning. If enacted, the Accelerator will enable the targeting of public and private investment directed at disadvantaged communities, workforces, children afflicted by environmental harm, and consumers burdened by high energy costs. Today’s report, along with the catastrophic wildfires and weather-related events devastating communities around the world, should spur immediate action across the board by our elected leaders.”

Recent polling finds that voters in two key states strongly support the bipartisan federal green bank, or Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator. In West Virginia, 54% of likely voters support the Accelerator, with only 31% opposing (+23%), while 68% of likely voters in Alaska support the policy and only 20% oppose (+48%) — a more than three-to-one margin. 

Among oil, gas, and coal workers and their families, support is even higher: 62% support and 77% support in West Virginia and Alaska, respectively. Voters in both states are more likely to vote for than against a senator who votes for the Accelerator.

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. 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. In a recent 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).

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.


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