PRI in Person: California Treasurer Chiang says $400-800bn of infra in the next decade will be green

$2bn of green bonds to date is only the start, says state finance chief.

John Chiang, California State Treasurer, says the state’s issuance of $2bn of green bonds to date is only the start, pointing out that California has infrastructure needs in the region of $400-800bn in the next decade, and all new build in the world’s fifth largest economy (California) would be climate friendly: “We will make sure that all infrastructure projects in the state take into account climate change and environmental attributes that align with climate realities. He added: “How can we continue to thrive in the 21st century with 20th century infrastructure? So I say, we have got to build. And – if we’re going to build – let’s build it green. Let’s build to protect ourselves from rising sea levels. Let’s build to protect ourselves from extreme weather. Let’s build to protect ourselves from the horrific wildfires ravaging our state year after year.” Chiang’s keynote opening speech to the 2018 PRI in Person conference in San Francisco, follows the signing of Senate Bill 100 earlier this week by Jerry Brown, California Governor committing the state to zero-carbon emissions by 2045.The PRI conference is taking place at the same time as the Global Climate Action Summit, hosted by Brown.
Chiang who has been instrumental in efforts to develop the US green bond market, recently published a report titled “Growing the U.S. Green Bond Market” which can be dowloaded at the following Link.
In August, on behalf of the State of California, he signed the “Green Bond Pledge,” which commits cities and states to a strategy of financing infrastructure and capital projects that meet the challenges of climate change with “green bonds,” or green financing. Chiang said one area he wanted to develop was for small municipalities in California to issue green bonds at a reasonable size and cost: “The issuances are too small so far, but we want to look at grouping issuance into larger offerings. Chiang said the next step is for Governor Brown and him to establish a working group to develop and implement a green bonds strategy.