Inclusiv Announces New Center for Resiliency and Affordable Renewable Energy
Working to increase resiliency and build long-term solutions to climate change
For Immediate Release
New York, NY (October 24, 2019) -- Yesterday, at the UNFCU Sustainability Summit for Credit Unions at the UN, Inclusiv announced the launch of the Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Affordable Renewable Energy. The Center, created in partnership with the Center for Impact Finance at the Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire and the Hewlett Foundation, is designed to build a network of credit unions committed to jointly designing and scaling solutions to climate change, with a goal of promoting affordable and sustainable energy for all people.
Credit unions have a critical role to play in helping communities become more prepared and resilient in the face of natural disasters like hurricanes, super-storms, floods, fires and drought. Emergency preparedness plans are in place at every credit union to protect the integrity of members' accounts and to afford access to cash in a crisis. Many credit unions in areas affected by recent weather-related events have started to help their members prepare for crises through financial education and counseling and by encouraging saving for an emergency. There is also a role that credit unions can play in addressing the root causes of climate change, while working together at the national and international level to slow global warming while investing in new, sustainable and green solutions.
Though climate change affects all of us, severe weather events can have an outsize impact on people and communities least able to withstand them. In the aftermath of recent natural disasters, credit unions have been among the first to open their doors and provide cash to their members even when their own systems were impaired.
"Inclusiv is proud to work with UNFCU to bring much needed attention to the threats posed by climate change," said Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv CEO. "Our vision for the Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Affordable Renewable Energy is to increase the resiliency of underserved communities that today are ill-equipped to cope with devastating disasters. Though our focus will be on solutions for low-income communities, the Center will work with credit unions across our industry to develop clean, renewable energy financial products and services for the benefit of all."
"At the Hewlett Foundation, we believe that credit unions have an important role to play in bringing clean energy solutions to a broad segment of the consumer and small and medium size business market. We look forward to building deep relationships throughout the credit union industry to help spur lending to consumers, homeowners and businesses to increase long-term sustainability," said Marilyn Waite, Program Officer, Climate and Clean Energy Finance, Hewlett Foundation.
“We are excited to be partnering with Inclusiv and the Hewlett Foundation in launching this new center," said Michael Swack, Research Professor and Director, Center for Impact Finance, Carsey School of Public Policy. "Community based solutions to energy and climate issues are an important part of addressing the climate crisis. It’s particularly important that communities and individuals served by these credit unions get access to affordable and sustainable energy.”
“As cooperatives with purpose and a social mission, what better organizations than credit unions to lead in the area of sustainability,” said Pamela Agnone, Senior Vice President of Retail Services at UNFCU and executive sponsor of its Global Sustainability Program. “We support Inclusiv’s innovative work to seek clean energy solutions and look forward to sharing ideas on building more sustainable communities.”
The Center's participating credit unions and partners will develop and share best practices in lending to consumers on energy efficient and clean energy solutions such as solar panels and electric vehicles. Also planned is the development of commercial lending opportunities that will help businesses retrofit their facilities with clean energy solutions and stimulate the growth of renewable energy businesses. In addition to the development of clean energy lending programs, the Center will raise and deploy capital to grow lending programs, will conduct research needed to design policy solutions, and will develop and disseminate training programs.
Credit unions interested in participating in the Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Affordable Renewable Energy should contact Pablo DeFilippi, SVP of Membership and Network Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.