Green Banks Gain Ground in Liberal Communities Struggling to Turn Climate Pledges into Action

By Rebecca Tan, Washington Post

The American Green Bank Consortium has seen its membership double from 11 to 22 in the past three years. Most members are backed by state governments, which have bigger wallets to spend on seed funding.

Montgomery County was among the first local jurisdictions in the country to set up its own green bank, in 2015, and now there are similar organizations in D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The DC Green Bank, which started signing projects in 2020, has provided nearly $1.8 million in loans for low-to-moderate-income households in Wards 4, 6 and 7 to transition to solar power and is in conversation with the city’s historically Black churches to discuss collaboration. The Climate Access Fund, based in Baltimore, works almost exclusively to bring community solar, in which multiple people share the energy produced by an off-site solar farm, to low-income households.

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