Jonathan Weisz Co-Authors Globe and Mail Op-Ed on Ontario Green Bank

October 25, 2016

As Ontario looks to execute on its Climate Change Action Plan, drawing from the experience of Germany’s longstanding Green Bank may help with the successful financing of green projects and initiatives. Partner and head of the firm’s Project Finance Practice Jonathan Weisz, together with Marc Ruttloff, a lawyer practising with German firm Gleiss Lutz who was recently on an international secondment with Torys, co-authored a Globe and Mail editorial on this subject, exploring ways in which Ontario might find Germany’s Green Bank—its “KfW”—a useful model. Below is an excerpt of their article.

When the Ontario government unveiled its Climate Change Action Plan in June, a largely overlooked element at the time – the intention to establish a green bank – could prove to be one of its most important initiatives. Unfortunately, Ontario seems to be unduly limiting itself when it comes to learning best practices from other jurisdictions that already have green banks.

A green bank is a public or quasi-public entity set up to facilitate private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure. These banks help jump-start funding of green projects and leverage financing from private-sector banks that have limited or no experience in providing capital for such projects, or which find many of them to be too small unless aggregated with other smaller projects.

Ontario says its green bank will draw upon the best practices of two nearby models: Efficiency Vermont, the first statewide energy-efficiency utility in the United States, and the New York Green Bank, a state-run financing agency. While this is a good start, these models are challenging fits for Ontario.

To read the full article on the Globe and Mail’s website, click here.


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