First good news of the year: NY Governor announces Green Bank

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new Green bank in his annual 'State of the State' address yesterday. He said the bank would focus on leveraging private sector capital for clean energy.

This is an excellent development. As we've argued since our inception, special purpose State financial institutions will play important enabling roles in leveraging private investment for public policy purposes.

(Some of you will know we were active in campaigning for UK Green Investment Bank, and pressing to further "green" the European Investment Bank and other development banks, and supported the push to set up a Clean Energy Finance Corporation in Australia.)

The key in NY is Cuomo's focus on leveraging private finance - looking for selective interventions that will make the difference to where private finance is needed. $1bn isn't actually much money at all compared to the scale of financing required to shift NYC to clean energy, so it will be important to avoid areas that don't have trouble getting funding (like public buildings) and to focus on areas where buying down the cost of capital is what will make a real difference.