In Virginia, city and state leaders are seeking new and innovative ways to encourage climate friendly investments. To this end, Governor McAuliffe, created a commission to explore opportunities for implementing climate solutions that would also improve the state’s economy.
The commission developed an innovative plan to create the New Virginia Bank for Energy and Resiliency, which will facilitate investments in both. Similar plans have been implemented in Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York, and have been successful in bringing robust investment capital to sustainable infrastructure projects, like solar, energy efficiency, and coastal protection measures.
State backed Energy and Resiliency banks are a win-win for both the public and private sectors. Companies can invest in bold development projects with attractive incentives and guarantees. Cities are opened up to new investments that can help establish increased climate resiliency. And city and state officials can demonstrate their commitment to serving and empowering their communities on the Path to Positive.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said it well: "Climate change is real. Climate change is happening. It's going to have a dramatic impact on the Virginia economy." I could not agree more.
To combat and adapt to climate change, the governor created a Climate Commission, charging it to think in big and bold ways to bring him its top recommendations for taking climate action while strengthening the Virginia economy.
Its No. 1 recommendation, which came in a vote this week, is to create an energy and resiliency bank to help increase private investment in both sectors. Called the New Virginia Bank for Energy and Resiliency, it would help to use limited state funds to bring in dramatically more private investment in projects like solar energy, energy efficiency and strengthening critical infrastructure along the state's coastline.
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