PARIS (December 7, 2015) - As world leaders gather to discuss global action on climate change, a group of six green banks and two leading non-profit groups today announced they are establishing a Green Bank Network to help meet the urgent need of increasing and accelerating investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide.
Green banks are public entities created to partner with the private sector to increase investment in clean energy and bring clean energy financing into the mainstream. They are a relatively new phenomenon that has been successful in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and several U.S. states.
The founding partners of this major clean energy initiative are the UK Green Investment Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, NY Green Bank, the Green Fund (Japan), Malaysian Green Technology Corporation and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia), and the network plans to expand rapidly.
The banks have appointed the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC), which are experienced in the development of green banks, to spearhead the creation of the network. ClimateWorks Foundation has agreed to provide seed funding.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will use its convening power to facilitate the sharing of experience between green banks and countries interested in creating them, building on the OECD-Bloomberg Philanthropies green banks policy guide released today.
With nations around the world making new commitments to reducing heat-trapping pollution, more capital than ever will need to be deployed for clean energy solutions. Green banks can help stimulate the private investments necessary for nations to meet their commitments.
The network will increase the global impact of green banks by enabling them to collaborate more effectively, share and leverage individual bank experiences, publicise achievements and grow the ranks of green banks worldwide.
The UK Green Investment Bank is now the most active investor in the UK's renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. Financing initiatives by the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) are delivering least-cost emissions reductions, contributing to economic resilience and competitiveness. The Connecticut Green Bank has nearly quadrupled annual clean energy investment and deployment in that state in three years. NY Green Bank, the largest green bank in the U.S. and one of the newer green banks, is providing market transformative financing solutions to advance solar, wind, and residential energy efficiency.
Green banks represented at a summit in New York last year said they collectively expected to deploy over $40 billion in capital for investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects over the next five years.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said, "Smart and innovative financing is crucial to developing renewable energy resources that allow us to tackle climate change. Here in New York, we have made great progress with NY Green Bank, and we are joining with other leaders to continue spurring the growth of a global clean energy economy. This will help to advance renewable energy around the world and build a sustainable economy both today and in the years ahead -ultimately ensuring a cleaner future for generations to come."
Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut said, "When it comes to climate change, in Connecticut we've been dedicated to tackling this issue, and committed to constant innovation because of the ramifications of inaction. We are taking aggressive action to combat climate change, with never-before-launched initiatives like our Green Bank. It's not just important for the environment - it builds on our efforts to create good-paying jobs and support an advanced energy economy. That's why, in addition to the significant steps we've already taken, we've committed to reducing carbon emissions 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050."
Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital said, "Finance is the foundation of the clean energy platform. Public-private investment partnerships will grow the global economy, and provide affordable sustainable energy to everyone on the planet."
Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions at NRDC said, "Meeting commitments coming out of Paris will require a profound transformation in global energy investment. The Green Bank Network is a critical tool in this process and NRDC is excited to facilitate the global scale-up of green banking."
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive of the UK Green Investment Bank said, "Billions of dollars of investment must be channelled into renewable energy and energy efficiency projects over the next 15-20 years if the nations of the world are to fulfil their climate pledges. The founding members of the Green Bank Network have impressive track records in drawing private capital to low-carbon infrastructure, but by building the first collaborative global clean energy finance platform we are sending out a signal that more can be achieved by working together."
CEFC Chief Executive Officer Oliver Yates said: "This network has the potential to help drive the faster roll out of successful business models and clean technologies globally. We are already seeing our organisations playing a significant role in accelerating private sector investment in clean energy and the CEFC looks forward to working closely with similar organisations to share our combined experience in financing renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emission technologies."
Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris, Chief Executive Officer, GreenTech Malaysia, said, "GreenTech Malaysia is proud to be one of the founding partners of the world's very first global Green Bank Network. Together with leading green banks, this network will open up access to a pool of financial resources, cross-country expertise and developmental opportunities to green establishments and entrepreneurs across the world to deliver on the aspirations of COP21."
Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, said, "The Connecticut Green Bank looks forward to working with our Green Bank Network colleagues to accelerate the growth of clean energy deployment by leveraging public funds to attract more private capital investment to create jobs and confront climate change."
Alfred Griffin, President of NY Green Bank, said "Today's announcement recognises that green banks around the world have all made tremendous progress in catalysing private sector capital in clean energy markets, and this is the next step towards a more seamless network of institutions that will benefit from learning from each other's experiences. We are proud that NY Green Bank - along with our Green Bank Network colleagues - will be able to more effectively utilise each other's resources and experiences to bring clean energy investments into the mainstream."
Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, said, "To achieve zero net greenhouse emissions globally by the end of this century, governments need to make full use of their capacity to leverage and unlock much larger flows of private investment in low-carbon infrastructure. Public green investment banks can help accelerate the shift to low-carbon investment at the national and sub-national levels."
For more information:
About the UK Green Investment Bank
UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) was launched in November 2012. With £3.8bn of funding from the UK Government, it is the first bank of its kind in the world. It is a "for profit" bank, whose mission is to accelerate the UK's transition to a greener economy, and to create an enduring institution, operating independently of Government.
GIB is wholly owned by HM Government. The Company is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. A wholly owned subsidiary UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.greeninvestmentbank.com
About Connecticut Green Bank
The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation's first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank's success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com
About NY Green Bank
NY Green Bank is a $1 billion State-sponsored specialised financial entity working in partnership with the private sector to identify, address, and alleviate market barriers preventing the widespread deployment of clean energy across New York State. NY Green Bank uses demonstrated financing tools to promote self-sustaining markets, while enabling private sector capital providers to expand the frontiers of current commercial clean energy investment opportunities. http://greenbank.ny.gov/
About GreenTech Malaysia
Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) is an organisation under the purview of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Malaysia, charged with the development and promotion of green technology as one of Malaysia's strategic engines for socio-economic growth.
About the Coalition for Green Capital
The Coalition for Green Capital is a non-profit organisation, helps states and nation-states to create and run financing institutions aimed at increasing public-private investment in the new clean power platform. Founded by Reed Hundt and Ken Berlin in 2009, CGC now has the support of major environmental foundations and is working in more than a dozen states in the United States as well as at the international level. For more information, contact Executive Director Jeffrey Schub, at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Natural Resources Defence Council
The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organisation with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
About the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
Media release, 2015