Unlocking Private Capital for Climate Action

Creating enduring solutions to climate change for communities of color requires unlocking the potential of private capital and holding financial institutions accountable for their impacts on the climate.

Climate finance refers to local, national, or transnational financing – drawn from public, private, and alternative sources of financing – that supports mitigation and adaptation actions that address the existing impacts of climate change that  hit communities of color first and worst, while preparing for future impacts. In other words, climate finance includes both the investments needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today in hopes of curbing the worst of the climate crisis, while simultaneously preparing for inevitable changes to our climate coming tomorrow.

While government, corporations, and individuals all play a role in reducing emissions and investing in community resilience, we push for banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions to step up further decarbonization of our economy and start investing in a clean energy future.


Expanding Access to Capital and Investments

For almost three decades, The Greenlining Institute has worked with financial institutions and regulators to expand access to capital and investments in low-income communities of color in order to foster a more sustainable, equitable future.

Our team of experts advocate for further decarbonization of our economy while also advocating for fair, safe, and affordable financial products to support climate mitigation and adaptation activities:

  • Further Decarbonization of Our Economy via Divestment, Shareholder Advocacy, and Corporate Disclosure: If regulators and corporate actors address upstream financing of climate change-inducing activities, then some of the worst impacts of climate change on low-income communities and communities of color may be mitigated
  • Access to Capital for Community Climate Resilience: If financial institutions proactively allocate capital to low-income communities and communities of color to meet community climate resilience needs, then low-income communities and communities of color will be better prepared to face the impending impacts of climate change with a co-benefit opportunity to promote economic well-being

As a result of our efforts, low-income communities and communities of color across California and the country will have improved access to fair, safe, and affordable capital to invest in climate resilience measures for their households and in their communities.


Investing in Community Resilience

Greenlining works to ensure low-income communities and communities of color across California and the country are better equipped to face the impacts of climate change in a way that promotes self-determination and economic opportunity.

Government Action

Greenlining is supporting the implementation of the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk and key provisions to ensure the public and private sectors appropriately account for climate change in their activities and long-term planning. Greenlining advocates for companies and financial institutions to not only take climate change seriously by reporting their climate-related risk, but to ensure mitigation actions prioritize frontline communities.

EV Equity Programs

Greenlining supports the implementation of equity programs designed to increase access to, and use of electric vehicles among low- and moderate-income individuals through the California Air Resources Board. We continuously work with our Charge Ahead California campaign partners to secure state funding for these EV equity programs, promote their benefits and successes, and ensure their design and implementation eliminates barriers and maximizes electric vehicle access. We also engage at the California Public Utilities Commission to shape rulemaking on the Clean Care Rule II, Advance Clean Truck Rule, and EV Fleets Rule to maximize equity.

In addition to these federal priorities, we provide education, leadership, and support for California legislation and policy on climate finance issues, including how to curtail the financing of climate change-inducing activities and risk mitigation.

Private Sector Action

Greenlining works to ensure investments reach low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. We negotiate Community Benefits Agreements as part of bank mergers and acquisitions alongside coalition members and partners. We’ve seen how large institutions can effectively allocate capital to communities of color that boosts climate resilience while prioritizing racial equity.

For recently proposed bank mergers, our demands related to climate resilience include:

  • Commit to not use climate change as an excuse to refuse to invest in low-income communities of color
  • Commit to invest in projects like green affordable housing, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, community solar, resilience centers, and workforce development
  • Commit to include resources for philanthropic support of environmental justice organizations