Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and co-sponsors today made a critical move in the battle against climate change by introducing the National Climate Bank Act of 2019. The National Climate Bank created by the bill will use public capital to stimulate private investment in a range of projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the nation’s clean energy transition. It will be funded with $35 billion over six years, which will mobilize a massive wave of up to $1 trillion in private investment. The bill is a companion to the one introduced in the Senate this summer by Senators Markey, Van Hollen, Schatz and Blumenthal. The bill is also informed by the Green Bank Act of 2019, introduced by Sen. Murphy and Rep. Himes.
The National Climate Bank will be formed as a nonpartisan non-profit, and will ensure a fair and equitable transition by financing projects that keep energy prices the same or lower. It will prioritize investments in frontline communities, environmental justice communities, and those suffering economic impacts from the clean energy transition. This makes the National Climate Bank an integral part of any comprehensive approach to push the economy towards clean energy.
Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital said: “Congresswoman Dingell like her husband before her has been a leader for years in the battle against climate change. Her introduction of this bill is a landmark event with historic significance for which I personally am thankful. The National Climate Bank takes a proven, successful model and scales it up to the level that’s required to meaningfully battle climate change: trillions rather than billions of dollars.”
The Climate Bank relies on the methods already proven by state and local Green Banks across the U.S, which have driven over $3.6 billion of total investments. Climate Bank financing will attract private co-investment, making public funds go farther. It will invest in renewable power, transmission, storage, micro-grids, transportation, industrial decarbonization, building efficiency, forestry and agriculture. It will also help form additional state and local Green Banks, and provide capital to the entire network of Green Banks to support clean energy investment in local communities.
“To properly tackle climate change an aggressive agenda is required that addresses all fronts of the crisis. To get to a fully clean economy, we need comprehensive efforts to innovate in economy, technology, and society. Establishing a National Climate Bank will serve as an important implementation tool to achieve this goal by publicly financing and stimulating private investments in clean, renewable energy projects, clean transportation, and support communities most effected by climate change,” said Dingell. “The National Climate Bank Act builds on the successful Green Bank example in Michigan, and mobilizes investment directly into the greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects most in need of capital. The expansion of these projects will create good jobs, a strong future workforce, and deliver a clean economy that works for communities in Michigan and across the country.”
CGC has supported federal action on Green Banks since 2009 when the House voted to form the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) with bipartisan support. Rep. John Dingell, the late husband of Rep. Debbie Dingell, championed that effort as well, introducing CEDA in the Energy & Commerce Committee as an amendment to the national cap-and-trade bill. Today CGC is the leading expert on Green Banks, and operates the American Green Bank Consortium as a membership organization for Green Banks to collaborate.
Mary Templeton, President and CEO of Michigan Saves, said: “As a member of the American Green Bank Consortium, Michigan Saves is proud to stand with CGC and with Congresswoman Dingell in support of the green bank approach. Michigan Saves has enabled more than $200 million in public and private investment, with the average household participating in a Michigan Saves program saving over $1,200 on their gas and electric bills.”
For more information on the National Climate Bank Act, see:
- Congresswoman Dingell’s release, one-page bill summary, and full bill text.
- CGC white paper “Mobilizing $1 Trillion towards Climate Action: An Analysis of the National Climate Bank Act.”
- Further links and resources on the National Climate Bank micro-site.
For more information on the track record of existing US Green Banks, see the American Green Bank Consortium’s Annual Industry Report.