Richard Kauffman ’83 explains how the New York Green Bank has made possible $1.5 billion in clean energy projects that wouldn’t otherwise have happened.
The idea of “green banks”—public lending institutions designed to help finance private clean energy projects—has been around for a while, but states have recently begun establishing their own versions. With the federal government slow to innovate in the sector, state officials are hoping to provide crucial support for clean energy and spur economic growth. But to work, green banks require a rethinking of the nature of the private-public relationship.
If sustainability is understood as the continuation of human life on earth, there is no alternative. Whatever the cost, we have to bear it. But how do we determine the right price to pay right now to ensure survival in the distant future?