Green Banks Are Jumpstarting Private Investment in Clean Energy

Issue Brief
September 24, 2019

To combat climate change and meet the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we must dramatically increase global private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. Green banks use the limited available public resources to address financial barriers to private investment in LCR infrastructure. This involves using such strategies as marketing, credit enhancements, subordinated debt, project aggregation to achieve investible project pipelines, and investment in demonstration projects to show feasibility.

In December 2015, NRDC and the Coalition for Green Capital collaborated with six green banks to launch the global Green Bank Network. The founding members are the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Australia), Connecticut Green Bank (USA), Green Finance Organization (Japan), GreenTech MalaysiaNew York Green Bank (USA), and Green Investment Group (UK-based). The network enables its members to share best practices and supports the establishment of new green banks around the world. Through the end of 2017, network member transactions have mobilized more than $33 billion in public and private capital for LCR infrastructure projects. These projects have helped avert 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. That’s equivalent to taking over 7 million cars off the road. 

NRDC-authored publications of the Green Bank Network include transaction takeaways and issue briefs. Transaction takeaways are compact summaries of innovative network member transactions and their lessons for the market. Issue briefs are short reports that highlight collective successes and innovations of Green Bank Network members in specific areas. The publications are an opportunity for members to share their experiences and engage with the broader green finance community.