A new bill was introduced in the U.S. this week in conjunction with COP21: the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2015. If passed, it would help the U.S. meet its climate goals. Introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), the Act would also create more than 1 million jobs. The Clean Energy Victory Bonds would begin as low as $25 and the funds raised would be invested in clean energy. The bill is endorsed by Green America and the American Sustainable Business Council who have been touting clean energy bonds for several years. A similar act was introduced in 2012 but failed to gain momentum.
Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Green America, said of the bill, “This bond fills a real need for individual and institutional investors, offering them a low risk opportunity to invest in clean energy sectors such as solar, wind, second generation biofuels, electric vehicles, and residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. It will also provide the incentives companies need in the clean energy sector to maintain the United States’ leadership and create over 1 million jobs in the U.S.”
The groups say the Clean Energy Victory Bonds will create major benefits:
- Leverage $50 billion investment to provide up to $150 billion in public and private financing to fund the production of innovative energy technologies, at a time when the U.S. is falling behind other countries in clean energy manufacture and installation.
- Help create at least one million competitively-paying jobs in the U.S.
- Support America’s clean energy sector, helping to ensure that the U.S. remains a world leader in this increasingly crucial and competitive industry.
- Reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy, enhance national security, and limit price increases and fluctuations.
- Provide a secure, competitive, government-backed investment vehicle for average Americans and investment institutions alike seeking a safe place for their money.
- Offer flexible redemption options at interest rates superior to most bank accounts.
- Help all Americans to invest in the future of their country and benefit from their investments.
- Promote a cleaner environment through the financing of clean energy technologies.
- Protect the health and safety of Americans by reducing local air and water pollution throughout the country.
The groups note that tax incentives for renewable energy come and go, often without predictability, leaving investors and industry scrambling. The Clean Energy Victory Bond, they say, would extend vital tax credits for a decade, giving emerging industries the support they need to develop and become increasingly competitive.
“From a business perspective, the Clean Energy Victory Bond makes great sense,” added Richard Eidlin, co-founder & VP of policy for the American Sustainable Business Council. “The market is speaking, and it’s speaking in favor of clean energy. As the world comes together in Paris to address climate change, it is more important than ever for renewable energy industries to have a new source of investment capital to build the market momentum.”