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Learn about Connecticut Green Bank, including Featured News, The Team, and Green Liberty Bond Inspiration.
The Connecticut Green Bank is the nation’s first green bank.* Established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80, Connecticut Green Bank supports the Governor’s and Legislature’s energy strategy to achieve cleaner, affordable, and reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. The Connecticut Green Bank evolved from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), which was given a broader mandate in 2011 to become the Connecticut Green Bank.
Our mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier and more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy.
Our green bank model upended the government subsidy-driven approach to clean energy by working with private-sector investors to create low-cost, long-term sustainable financing to maximize the use of public funds. We continue to innovate, educate and activate to accelerate the growth of green energy measures in the residential (single and multifamily), commercial, industrial, institutional and infrastructure sectors.
The model works. We are deploying more clean energy more quickly and efficiently than ever. Since its inception, the Connecticut Green Bank and its private investment partners have deployed over a $1.6 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state. Projects recorded through FY 2019 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that an additional $6 in private investment occurred in the economy.
Green Bank employees are not investment professionals and are strictly prohibited under Federal law and rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission from engaging in or advising on any purchases of securities, including Green Liberty Bonds. Any calls to the Green Bank for assistance with purchasing Green Liberty Bonds will be directed to our lead underwriters.
The Connecticut Green Bank recently released its Fiscal Year 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) (https://www.ctgreenbank.com/about-us/financial-statements/), which is compiled by the Green Bank's accounting team and audited by an external certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The CAFR offers a deep dive into the financial performance of the Green Bank. The Green Bank also recently released its FY202 Annual Report (https://www.ctgreenbank.com/fy20-annual-report/), which provides updates on the programs, shares success stories and milestones, and offers a look at the impact of the inaugural Green Liberty Bond issuance in 2020.
November 10, 2020 — The Bond Buyer announced yesterday that the Connecticut Green Bank is among the recipients of its annual Deal of the Year awards as the winner in the Innovative Financing category for their 2020 Green Liberty Bond issuance.
For the second straight year, The Bond Buyer has named winners in 10 categories: five awards in our regional areas of coverage, along with five in additional categories. All award winners are also finalists for the national Deal of the Year Award, which will be announced at a virtual event to be held Dec. 16. This is the 19th year that The Bond Buyer has recognized outstanding achievement in municipal finance.
“This year’s lineup reflects the full range of communities and public purposes this market comprises,” said Mike Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. “The deals honored exemplify the creativity and resourcefulness this industry brings to bear on projects that advance the infrastructure and quality of life in the nation’s municipalities. These qualities take on additional importance here in 2020, as issuers across the nation face unprecedented challenges.”
The Bond Buyer’s editorial board considered a range of factors when judging entries, including: creativity, the ability to pull a complex transaction together under challenging conditions, the ability to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a deal’s proceeds were used.
“We are very excited and honored to be recognized by The Bond Buyer in the Innovative Financing category for 2020,” said Lonnie Reed, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Issuing our first Green Liberty Bond during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges, however, the response from retail investors in Connecticut and across the country was incredibly positive. The desire to invest in Green Liberty Bonds is strong because it is both great for the environment and great for the green energy economy.”
The Connecticut Green Bank’s $16.8 million issuance of “Green Liberty Bonds” is this year’s Innovative Financing winner. Modeled after the Series-E War Bonds of the 1940s, this new sub-category of green bonds is sold in maximum denominations of $1,000, making them accessible to everyday citizens and retail investors.
To see all the finalists, please visit The Bond Buyer’s announcement.
"Connecting capital to projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is at the core of our struggle against climate change," says Bryan Garcia, Green Bank president and CEO in a commentary published by The Bond Buyer. The Green Liberty Bond was created with this goal in mind, and to allow retail investors and concerned citizens to put their dollars behind green projects.
World War II and the War Bonds
The history of War Bonds in the United States and Connecticut is incredible! From May 1, 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt purchased the first one through 1945, over $185 billion was raised through the sale of War Bonds – the equivalent of $2.7 trillion today. More than 85 million Americans, over half of the country’s population, purchased $20 billion of Series-E War Bonds at denominations as low as $25 and high as $1,000 – or between $435 to $17,500 today, respectively. Even more, Americans promoted the purchase of War Bonds to defend our country and support Democracy around the world. This was an inclusive, all-hands-on-deck effort across every race, every sex, and every age.
Connecticut was among the leading states with the greatest amount of War Bond sales during this period, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made a special visit on March 22, 1943, to promote sales alongside the Girl Scouts in Hartford, Connecticut at the Bushnell Theater.
Funding Another Noble Cause
On April 17, 2009, in New Haven, Connecticut, James Cameron addressed a crowded auditorium of students and faculty at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. There, the former Chairman of Climate Change Capital introduced the concept of an environment bond inspired by the War Bonds of the 1940s. As War Bonds provided Americans with a means of defending liberty, patriotism, and democracy in World War II, Cameron felt environment bonds had the potential for capitalism to unlock idealism to confront climate change. “There is something powerful in the idea that, ‘My money built that and it works and I use it.’ Building things for a purpose that binds investors, worker, user – and society – is a noble cause.” 
Connecticut’s Leadership in Democracy and Innovation
Connecticut has a rich history when it comes to Democracy, clean energy, and climate change. Known as the “Constitution State,” it was the Fundamental Orders of 1639 from Windsor, Wethersfield and Hartford that was the world’s first written constitution for a self-governing people and seen as the prototype of our U.S. Constitution which was adopted over 150 years later. Entrepreneurs were active with innovative technologies. Daniel Halladay created and manufactured wind turbines in the 1850s and Colonel Albert Pope was working on electric vehicle technologies in the 1900s. The first Presidential motorcade and certainly the first (and quite possibly the only) in an electric vehicle, happened with Theodore Roosevelt in downtown Hartford on August 22, 1902. It was in Westbrook, Connecticut on August 27, 2001, where Resolution 26-4 “Resolution Concerning Energy and Environment” was signed by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers establishing the first regional climate change action plan in the United States, in collaboration with Canada. Alexis de Tocqueville recognized the importance of civic engagement in American democracy and the role of states like Connecticut.
“The civilization of New England has been like a beacon lit upon a hill, which, after it has diffused its warmth around, tinges the distant horizon with its glow.”
As the nation’s first “Green Bank,” the Connecticut Green Bank was created by a bipartisan act of legislation in July of 2011. With the mission to “confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier and more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy,” the Connecticut Green Bank was awarded the prestigious Innovations in American Government Awards from the Ash Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2017 for “Sparking the Green Bank Movement”. There are green banks now at the city, county, and state levels across the country, national policy proposals for a U.S. Green Bank  and U.S. Climate Bank,  and green banks being created in developed and developing countries around the world.
Vision to Confront an Another Existential Crisis
James Cameron had a vision of environment bonds over a decade ago – whereby “Governments would collect money from investors who would benefit from guaranteed – but modest – rates of return…the bonds could tap a vein of renewed idealism among investors who are seeking to use the financial system for good causes.” In 2018, the “Green Bond” market saw $170 billion issued with 40% of the proceeds being invested in clean energy projects, and as noted by Forbes, are seen as an important mechanism to solve climate change.  What if, like Series-E War Bonds, governments across this country – municipal, state, and federal governments – were to issue third-party climate-certified  Green Bonds that individuals and families could invest in to confront climate change?
It is only befitting, that as we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – April 22, 2020 – that having been inspired by history, recognizing that environmentalism and humanitarianism are better together, that the Connecticut Green Bank gives rise to the first Green Liberty Bonds available to families in Connecticut and Americans across our great nation.
 “From War Bonds to Environment Bonds” by James Kanter in the Green: Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line of the New York Times (April 20, 2009).
 S. 1528 and H.R. 3423 proposed by Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and Representative Himes of Connecticut
 S. 2057 and H.R. 5416 proposed by Senator Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Dingell of Michigan
 “Green Bonds Can Solve Our Climate Crisis” by Miriam Tuerk in Forbes (August 28, 2019)
 For example, Climate Bond Initiative, Green Bond Principles, etc.