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THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - June 18, 2015

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*-- White House receives $4 billion in Clean Energy Investment commitments --*

WASHINGTON (UPI) - The White House announced Tuesday it has more than $4 billion in private sector commitments to invest in clean energy and kick off the Clean Energy Investment Summit.

The amount committed by private organizations, including the University of California, Goldman Sachs and the Sierra Club Foundation, surpassed the initial $2 billion goal.

"President Obama and his Administration are committed to using every tool possible to combat climate change... harnessing the ingenuity of America's entrepreneurs, innovators, and technology is a crucial part of the fight against climate change," the White House said in a statement. "America is leading the global transition to a low-carbon economy, and thanks to past investments, consumers are already benefitting from major advances in solar photovoltaics, wind power, advanced batteries, energy-efficient lighting, and fuel cells."

"In fact, the cost of solar energy systems has plummeted by over 50 percent in the past five years alone," the White House added.

New executive actions were also announced, hoping to encourage private-sector investments in clean energy innovation. These include:

- Launching a new Clean Energy Impact Investment Center at the U.S. Department of Energy to make information about energy and climate programs accessible and more understandable to the public and investors.

- Facilitating investments by charitable foundations in clean energy technologies, through new Treasury Department guidance on impact investing.

- Improving financing options from the U.S. Small Business Administration for private investment funds seeking long-term capital, including early-stage investors in capital-intensive clean energy technologies.

The Clean Energy Investment Summit will be attended by Vice President Joe Biden, senior administration officials from the White House, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense as well as "thought leaders" from the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, the Wallace Global Fund, Wells Fargo and others.

President Obama has put climate change as a key issue to address in his second term in office. In May, he spoke to a group of graduating Coast Guardsmen where he said climate change would shape their entire careers because it poses "an immediate risk to our national security."

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