As countries work toward a new international climate agreement in Paris, a group of six green banks and two leading non-profit groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), recently 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. This green bank network potentially could bring billions of dollars in new investment to speed the development of clean energy, creating jobs and helping reduce climate change. India is moving forward with innovative financing such as green bonds to achieve its ambitious clean energy targets. As a potentially game-changing financing mechanism, green banks could help unleash capital to power India’s clean energy goals.
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. NRDC has been working on renewables finance in India since 2009.“Meeting commitments coming out of Paris will require a profound transformation in global energy investment,” said Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions at NRDC. “The Green Bank Network is a critical tool in this process and NRDC is excited to help facilitate the global scale-up of green banking.”
The Organisation 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 be needed 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, publicize achievements and grow the ranks of green banks worldwide.