Green Banks Hold Promise for Equitable Climate Solutions in US and Globally

NRDC Convenes Green Bank Network Event During New York Climate Week on

Scaling Investments and Benefitting Underserved Communities

NEW YORK – The United States and countries around the world are poised to exponentially increase investments to accelerate the clean energy transition, according to participants at a Climate Week green bank event today in New York City, featuring a keynote address pre-recorded on video for the event by Jahi Wise, Acting Director of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

“Through the historic Inflation Reduction Act, EPA will improve the lives of millions of Americans by tackling our biggest climate challenges, creating good paying jobs, lowering costs for families and shoring up American energy security,” Wise said.

Just a year after passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is set to catalyze billions of dollars in clean energy projects across the United States. Members of the Green Bank Network came together to discuss how to maximize its impact through partnerships that drive an equitable green transition, and lessons in scaling green investments from US and global green banks.

“Green Banks can play a pivotal role in turning the tide against the climate crisis this decade,” Manish Bapna, President and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “In the United States and around the world, climate impacts are hitting low-income, rural, and communities of color hardest. By rapidly increasing the flow of private financing toward green projects and away from polluting sectors, Green Banks can ensure the world is investing in clean energy and climate solutions at the speed and scale necessary to meet the moment. That’s how we move further and faster toward a cleaner, healthier, more equitable and prosperous future for people everywhere.”

Also speaking at the event were: David Davenport, Managing Director of N Y Green Bank; Kerry O’Neill, CEO of Inclusive Prosperity Capital; Margaret Trilli, CEO & CIO of Impact Assets; Oswaldo Acosta, CEO & president of City First Enterprises; Trisha Miller, CEO of DC Green Bank; Bert Hunter, executive vice president & CIO of Connecticut Green Bank; Jason Patrick, CIO of New Zealand Green Investment Finance; and Áurea Carvalho, Project Structuring Manager, Minas Gerais Development Bank. 

The funds from the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will help green banks and other nonprofit lenders to rapidly scale the deployment of clean energy, efficient buildings, solar power and resilient infrastructure in disadvantaged communities so businesses, families and individuals will benefit from cleaner air, better housing and infrastructure.

Around the world, the green bank model of using limited public funds to catalyze additional private investment in green solutions is successfully advancing national priorities on climate and sustainable development goals. By sharing investment risks, building local capacity, and transforming markets, Green Bank Network members are helping cities, states and countries scale up climate action, ambition and move closer to achieving climate targets under the international Paris Agreement on climate change.

Through mid-2023, Green Bank Network members have globally invested $51.08 billion to support renewable energy, energy efficiency and other projects valued at $142.97 billion. Together, these green bank-supported projects are estimated to have avoided 54.23 million metric tons of carbon pollution—the equivalent of taking 25.31 million cars off the road. 

Program participants offered the following comments:

“In Connecticut over the last 12 years, the green bank model has allowed every $1 of public funds to attract $6 of private investment into our state to the tune of more than $2.4 billion in total investment. This not only bolsters our green economy and creates jobs, but it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves health outcomes, and saves home- and business owners on their electricity costs,” said Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President & CIO of Connecticut Green Bank. “We are excited by the scalability of the green bank model through the GGRF, especially given our Board-established goal that no less than 40% of our investments will reach communities disproportionately harmed by climate change.” 

 “NY Green Bank’s commitment to equity is central to our mission and work, which is demonstrated by the recent launch of the Community Decarbonization Fund, a key component of a broader effort to expand and continually improve our product offerings while more effectively deploying capital within New York’s historically disadvantaged communities, said David Davenport, Managing Director of NY Green Bank. The CDF will help ensure New York is on track to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal of ensuring at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments go to disadvantaged communities.”

“New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF) is pleased to work with the Green Bank Network on the critical mission of scaling climate finance,” said Jason Patrick, CIO of New Zealand Green Investment Finance. “Ensuring a Just Transition is a key element to climate policy in New Zealand. As one example, we have already seen how our investment into distributed solar systems with batteries here in New Zealand has helped communities be more resilient in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. In New Zealand as elsewhere, NZGIF is proud to be driving its own capital and, most important, co-investment capital into decarbonisation investments across our emissions-intensive sectors, for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

“Green banks, with their deep-rooted expertise and a broad network of partnerships, are pivotal in fostering climate finance and, consequentially, sustainable development,” said Gabriel Viegas Neto, CEO of Minas Gerais Development Bank. Demonstrating our dedication, 41% of our 2022 disbursements were channeled towards projects that resonate with at least one SDG, laying the groundwork for our continued alignment and growth in sustainability.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. 

The Green Bank Network (GBN) is a membership organization managed by NRDC that was founded in December 2015 to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among existing Green Banks, enabling them to share best practices and lessons learned. The GBN also aims to serve as a source of knowledge and a network for jurisdictions that seek to establish a Green Bank. The GBN members are the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia), Connecticut Green Bank (U.S.), DC Green Bank (U.S.), Minas Gerais Development Bank (Brazil), NY Green Bank (U.S.), New Zealand Green Investment Finance, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (U.S), and Tata Cleantech Capital Limited (India). Visit us at


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