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Draft US clean energy “victory bonds” act introduced to spur $50bn investment

Initiative is modelled on World War II victory bonds

A draft act proposing up to $50bn in clean energy “victory bonds” – modelled on the successful victory bonds sold during World War II to US households – has been introduced to the US House of Representatives.

The bill, the Clean Energy Victory Bonds (CEVB) Act, has been introduced by California Democrats Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui with the co-sponsorship of 15 Democratic members.

Campaigners hope the bonds could leverage an additional $100bn from private investors.

Under the proposed act, the US Treasury would issue small-denomination bonds (from $25), to be widely sold and promoted, to fund and extend existing tax incentives and credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

“Individual citizens helped turn the tide in World War II with Victory Bonds, and we can do that again for the energy and environmental challenges we face by allowing folks to invest in innovative technologies that yield a profitable return for the investor and to society,” said Congresswoman Lofgren.It’s also hoped the bonds would also help to create new jobs and improve energy security.

The 31-page act aims to “promote the domestic development and deployment of clean energy technologies required for the 21st century” and notes that in World War II, over 80% of American households purchased Victory Bonds to support the war effort, raising over $185bn – “or over $2trn in today’s dollars”.

“Clean Energy Victory Bonds shall be lawful investments, and may be accepted as security for all fiduciary, trust, and public funds, the investment or deposit of which shall be under the authority or control of the United States or any officer or officers thereof,” the text states.

The initiative has the support of the likes of environmental campaign group 350.org, sustainability advocacy group Ceres, and the American Sustainability Business Council amongst others.

There is investor backing from sustainability specialists like Calvert Investments, Clean Yield, Pax World Funds and Zevin Asset Management. Clean Energy Victory Bonds’ home page.