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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.
"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.
In the Summer 2020 issue of Environmental Finance, Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Chief Investment Officer Bert Hunter discuss how Green Liberty Bonds "marry capitalism and civic virtue to help fund the state’s response to climate change."
Earlier this week, CSG EAST’s Energy and Environment Committee hosted a virtual discussion with officials at the Connecticut Green Bank, to learn about the first-ever lower denomination bond that is enabling citizens to invest in efforts to address climate change.
Green Liberty Bonds, offered in $1,000 denominations to individuals as well as institutional investors, are intended to fund projects that will further a number of broad societal goals as states work to decarbonize their energy systems, such as strengthening communities, promoting environmental justice and inclusivity, and advancing market transformation in green investing.
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.