November 11, 2020

Dennis Schroeder/NREL (solar installation); iStock (bus, EV)

The Green Finance Center is helping to accelerate the shift to a greener, more prosperous economy that benefits everyone. As the world continues to build infrastructure for the 21st century and beyond, we need every dollar of energy and other infrastructure spending to reduce carbon emissions, bolster climate resilience, and support development that is sustainable and equitable.

This transformation of global infrastructure will be unprecedented. But given the enormous amount of funding required, public capital must be used strategically to rally and redirect private investment into low-carbon, climate-resilient projects. NRDC’s work with the public and private sectors puts us in a unique position to aid in this transformation, and our Green Finance Center helps integrate innovative approaches to finance at every level of our work, local to international. As co-secretariat of the global Green Bank Network, NRDC also helps connect leaders in clean energy finance, promote investment, and develop best practices.

The Green Finance Center’s approach follows these principles:

  • The public and private sectors should form partnerships based on equity and innovation. Risks and rewards should be shared.
  • While public and donor funds are limited, they can play a critical role in promoting private investment through demonstration projects, risk mitigation, and other strategies.
  • In weighing investments, we must look at the long term and account for the true costs and benefits. For example, we have failed to recognize the impacts of fossil-fuel investment on public health, inequality, and the environment. The drive to lower up-front costs has left us with tattered and battered infrastructure that is unable to provide basic quality service or respond to climate change. But increasingly, we can demonstrate that each dollar of infrastructure spending can promote positive social and environmental impacts while creating long-term savings.
  • The most vulnerable communities should not only benefit from smart financing but be involved in decision-making processes. Investment tools should help lower costs to ensure that everyone can participate in the low-carbon economy.