Citi Commits $1 Billion in Joining Clinton Climate Initiative
Institution Will Finance Energy-Saving Retrofits of Buildings in Major Cities
New York – Citi today announced that it is committing $1 billion to the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a project of the Clinton Foundation, to implement the new Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program in partnership with large city governments. Citi will provide expertise and financing for the first generation of projects in CCI’s landmark program aimed at significantly reducing energy use in public and private buildings, which are responsible for between 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in most cities and over 70 percent in large cities, including New York.
Citi includes several business units that have been serving public sector clients in this arena for more than two decades and, accordingly, bring significant knowledge to these efforts. Citi’s commercial finance and leasing unit, CitiCapital, will work with cities and private building owners to significantly reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient products and technologies, which can reduce energy use by 20 percent to 50 percent. Citi is also the market leader in municipal bond underwritings, proceeds of which can be used to retrofit public buildings and related activities.
“Climate change is a global problem that requires local action,” said President Bill Clinton. “The businesses, banks and cities partnering with my foundation are addressing the issue of global warming because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good for their bottom line. They’re going to save money, make money, create jobs and have a tremendous collective impact on climate change all at once. I’m proud of them for showing leadership on the critical issue of climate change and I thank them for their commitment to this new initiative.”
“We are excited to join the CCI Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program as a founding financial partner and welcome this opportunity to share our expertise and other resources to help cities around the world reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Steven Freiberg, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Citi’s Global Consumer Group.
“Today’s $1 billion commitment to CCI is part of Citi’s efforts to target some $50 billion over the next decade to address global climate change. Given that buildings are the largest users of energy in urban areas, this expanded retrofit program through CCI promises to provide significant reductions in energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions from the participating cities,” Mr. Freiberg added.
Citi’s participation in the CCI effort builds on its extensive “green” project financing and investments already underway, as well as the company’s efforts to make its own operations environmentally friendly. Citi has committed to reduce its environmental footprint and has pledged to a 10 percent reduction in its own greenhouse gas emissions by 2011.
Citi, through its CitiCapital unit, has developed an expertise in financing retrofit projects for more than 25 years, providing hundreds of millions of dollars of financing to such projects. It is a leader in municipal lease financings, with operations in North America and in every U.S. city involved in the CCI program. CitiCapital has implemented existing energy retrofit financing programs with municipalities and not-for-profit organizations in CCI targeted cities, including the Regents of the University of California in San Francisco as well as more than 30 municipal buildings in the City of New Orleans, LA, the State of Utah Department of Corrections in Salt Lake City, and Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
In addition, CitiCapital is more than doubling its own commitment to facilitating the reduction of carbon-gas emissions and promoting sustainability by 2010. Its CitiCapital Energy Finance Unit has an existing portfolio of over $1 billion from underwriting energy efficiency upgrades for universities, local school districts, and various municipalities in the U.S., allowing clients to amortize the cost savings of improvement over a 15- to 20-year period generally without capital outlays.
Citi has long been active on environmental issues as evidenced by its initial and ongoing leadership in the development of the Equator Principles, which established best practices for assessing and mitigating social and environmental risks in project finance. Citi has also called for the development of global and U.S. frameworks that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation and opportunity, bring clarity and certainty to the markets, and achieve a level playing field.
Citi’s stock is part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good, both of which acknowledge leadership in setting standards in sustainable growth and in demonstrating exceptional environmental, social, and economic performance.
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