September 30, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – In an effort to focus investment on projects that protect the environment and boost sustainability, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has introduced, “A Green Bond Program for New York City,” to make New York the first major city in the nation to offer Green Bonds. The program offer investors a way to participate in the financing of environmentally conscious projects that provide clean water and improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
“It’s all hands on deck when it comes to finding ways to protect our environment and help make our City a better place for all of us to live,” Comptroller Stringer said. “When New York City leads, others follow, and a Green Bond program would continue New York City’s tradition as a leader in environmental policy and municipal finance.”
If implemented in New York City, Green Bonds would be issued in a common plan of finance with standard General Obligation (GO), Transitional Finance Authority (TFA) and Municipal Water Finance Authority (Water) bonds. Green Bonds could be particularly useful in financing the Administration's ambitious resiliency projects, from green capital needs to save energy and water in affordable housing to expanded solar capacity on the rooftops of our City’s schools.
What makes Green Bonds different from traditional debt is the targeted use of bond proceeds for projects that meet accepted criteria for environmental benefit, along with additional transparency so investors can track projects and expenditures. Tax-exempt Green Bonds have been issued by several states but not yet by any major cities.
“Superstorm Sandy drove home for all New Yorkers how New York City must act to adapt to a changing environment. We have significant infrastructure needs, and there is a growing appetite to finance innovative projects that protect our communities. Green Bonds should be another example of how New York City leads the nation in finding solutions that work,” Comptroller Stringer said.