FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 25, 2020
Senate Climate Committee Backs New National Climate Bank Nonprofit
Mirrors House Climate Crisis Committee Action Plan Rec
New initiative would create 5M jobs, with requirement to prioritize investment in frontline and communities of color
WASHINGTON —The Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis has included a National Climate Bank nonprofit in its blueprint on how to solve the climate crisis while putting millions back to work. In its report, the committee wrote, “Green banks and climate banks have proven to be effective tools for leveraging clean energy investment, and Congress should act to further expand such tools.”
Earlier this summer, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis included the National Climate Bank nonprofit in its action plan. A day later, the chamber passed its infrastructure bill that provided $20 billion to start the nonprofit.
“Momentum has never been stronger to start a National Climate Bank—nor has the urgency. America needs jobs that build a cleaner and better future now, and this is a proven way to do it,” Coalition for Green Capital Executive Director Jeffrey Schub said. “Now is the time for the Senate to finish the job and take up the House-passed bill that provided $20 billion for the National Climate Bank.”
In July, Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden backed the concept and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has cosponsored the National Climate Bank Act in the Senate.
Nearly 100 organizations have sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders requesting future economic recovery legislation include such funding. With tens of millions of Americans filing for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic so far and studies showing that up to 42 percent of those jobs will not return, the groups argue that Congress must urgently make long term investments that create jobs and build a cleaner future.
As envisioned in H.R. 5416 and S. 2057, the green bank nonprofit model would pair each public dollar with multiple private ones to build a range of clean energy projects throughout the U.S. This includes 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.
A significant portion of investment must go to low-income, frontline and communities of color. This means benefits and job creation will be prioritized in climate-impacted communities, many of which have also been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.