A Victory Bond for the war against climate change
A group of five young professionals from a Vancouver-based organization called Action Canada wants the Canadian government to back the creation of a Green Bond that would guarantee a modest return on investment and assure a steady flow of money into green technologies and projects. You can read a 41-page summary of their ambitious proposal here. The group describes it as a “modern-day Victory Bond for the environment — purchased by Canadians, backed by government, managed by the private sector, and designed to accelerate the rollout of sustainable energy.” They think Canadians will jump at it. “It’s simple, politically sexy, and we have every reason to believe it will be wildly popular.” Apparently the federal government is taking a serious look, and so they should. It has been successful in the European Union, which launched a “climate awareness bond” in 2007 that has so far raised $1.5 billion for renewable energy projects. It seems like a perfect way for people who feel powerless against a global climate menace to help fund some positive change while getting a little in return for their investment. With one caveat: it has to be managed responsibly and have enough checks and balances to make sure money doesn’t flow to a select groups of companies and projects — some of them suspect — who benefit from the right political connections.