Obama Administration Announces More Than $4 Billion in Private Sector Commitments and Executive Actions to Scale up Investment in Clean Energy Innovation
Taking Action to Cut Carbon Pollution and Grow the Economy through the Administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative While Doubling Initial Goal of $2 Billion
President Obama and his Administration are committed to using every tool possible to combat climate change. While the President has taken several steps using the power of the federal government, harnessing the ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and technology is a crucial part of the fight against climate change. America is leading the global transition to a low-carbon economy, and thanks to past investments, consumers are already benefitting from major advances in solar photovoltaics, wind power, advanced batteries, energy-efficient lighting, and fuel cells.
As part of that effort the White House hosted a Clean Energy Investment Summit where Vice President Joe Biden delivered remarks highlighting more than $4 billion of independent commitments by major foundations, institutional investors, and other long-term investors to fund climate change solutions, including innovative technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution.
These commitments — from hundreds of organizations as diverse as the University of California, Goldman Sachs, and the Sierra Club Foundation — surpass the Administration’s initial Clean Energy Investment Initiative goal of catalyzing $2 billion, first announced by Senior Advisor Brian Deese as a call to action earlier this year. In addition to Vice President Biden’s remarks, the Summit featured senior administration officials from the White House, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense; and thought leaders from the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, the Wallace Global Fund, and Wells Fargo among others.
Additionally, the White House announced a series of executive actions to encourage private-sector investments in clean energy innovation, including:
- Launching a new Clean Energy Impact Investment Center at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to make information about energy and climate programs DOE and other government agencies accessible and more understandable to the public, including to mission-driven investors;
- Facilitating investments by charitable foundations in clean energy technologies, through new Treasury Department guidance on impact investing; and
- Improving financing options from the U.S. Small Business Administration for private investment funds seeking long-term capital, including early-stage investors in capital-intensive clean energy technologies.
Long-term investors — such as foundations, family office investors, and institutional investors — can play a catalytic role in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. Philanthropists can help fund clean energy innovation at the earliest stages, where bold new ideas are emerging from our labs, universities, and startups, while investors can scale up the most promising of these innovations. Taken together the announcements will help ensure that more climate innovations make the leap out of the laboratory and into the global marketplace.