Green Finance Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council and Rocky Mountain Institute to develop global Green Bank Design Platform addressing climate solutions

by | Sep 22, 2020

A State of Green Banks 2020 report will be published in November providing a comprehensive review of green banks worldwide and guiding the Platform’s development

Today, three leading clean energy, finance and environmental organisations announced the formation of a strategic partnership to undertake a comprehensive review of the current global impact of green banks and identify the finance, technology, and policy requirements needed to expand green banks globally, allowing countries to attract private investment for low-carbon, climate-resilient solutions.

The partnership between Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a leading global clean energy non-profit, the Green Finance Institute, a UK Government-backed ‘action tank’, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organisation, will inform the co-development of a Green Bank Design Platform, which will support governments and institutions to establish a green bank or similar green financing vehicle. ClimateWorks Foundation is providing funding to support the initial review and Platform development.

A green bank is a specialised public finance institution, or separately managed facility, which acts as the focal point for scaling up domestic investment in climate solutions. It mobilises private investment into low-carbon, climate resilient projects—such as solar arrays, wind farms and energy-efficiency building projects—by tailoring financial products to address market barriers.

Paul Bodnar, managing director, Rocky Mountain Institute says: “Green banks have a track record of accelerating low-carbon, climate-resilient development, and are especially well-positioned to drive green recovery programs. It is no surprise that so many countries are actively considering the model, which is why it’s time to explore a forum that would connect them with the expertise, best practices, and capital sources to succeed. RMI is proud to partner with the Green Finance Institute and NRDC to accelerate this historic shift in climate finance.”

The three organisations will continue to engage with countries around the world to identify the challenges in setting up green banks; understand the restrictions to green bank development within both emerging and developed markets; map the skills needed to overcome capacity gaps; and formulate and deliver the products, services and resources required to support the successful formation of green banks.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive, Green Finance Institute says: “Green banks are increasingly being recognised for their role in financing the transition to a low-carbon economy. In addition to investing in green innovations and infrastructure, they are able to channel large scale and global financing to local solutions. Unlocking barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful real-economy outcomes underpins our work at the Green Finance Institute, as does collaboration, and we are excited to be working with strategic partners RMI and the NRDC on the Platform.”

The three organisations will also publish a State of Green Banks 2020 report in November. The first survey of its kind, this report will represent a comprehensive review of the impact and developments of green banks in 34 countries. Its key findings will provide an understanding of green bank activities around the world that funders, countries, development finance institutions, and others can use to further the global green bank movement and will highlight the application of the green bank model across different geographies.  

Doug Sims, Director and Senior advisor at NRDC’s Green Finance Center says: “Green banks have a unique ability to jumpstart and accelerate financing for the investments that propel us toward our collective environmental ambitions of a climate-safe, healthy, resilient and prosperous future. They also help achieve inclusive social objectives such as creating jobs, building sustainable affordable housing, lowering energy costs, and adapting communities to withstand impacts from climate change. We’re thrilled to be working with RMI and the Green Finance Institute to globally scale these innovative institutions.”

Ilmi Granoff, Finance Program Director at the ClimateWorks Foundation says: “Green banks put public capital to work with the focus, efficiency, and speed necessary to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, and they help unlock the private capital we need for scale. ClimateWorks has long worked closely with RMI and NRDC, and we are extraordinarily excited about the Green Finance Institute’s involvement in this work. After all, the UK Government pioneered the ‘green investment bank’ model and it is a state investment bank innovation that could help economies around the world achieve rapid decarbonization.”


Rocky Mountain Institute:  Alexandra Chin, [email protected] +1 973-262-0002
Green Finance Institute: Catrin Thomas, [email protected] +44 (0) 7753-612-523
Natural Resources Defense Council: Jake Thompson, [email protected] +1 301-602-3627

About the Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by Her Majesty’s Treasury, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the City of London Corporation.  As the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, it is uniquely placed to mobilise capital to accelerate the domestic and international transition to a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy that is also climate resilient. The Green Finance Institute convenes and leads mission-led coalitions to identify and unlock barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful, real-economy outcomes.  For more information visit and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 – transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.