Pennsylvania Backs Cleantech with New Investment Strategy

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Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr. announced yesterday that the state will be adopting a new approach to investing public funds with its Keystone Green Investment Strategy. Pennsylvania will put $90 million behind this plan to spur growth in clean and sustainable business development, and to promote these opportunities to other investors. The strategy consists of four elements:

  1. The Keystone Green Fund - a new investment fund Casey is establishing to attract and leverage private sector investments in clean technology products and firms that will benefit Pennsylvania's economy. The Fund will include up to $40 million in Treasury assets and several million more from Pennsylvania-based energy funds.

  2. Active Equity Management - Casey will reallocate up to $50 million in Treasury assets from existing investment managers to those who can demonstrate a track record of providing superior returns on their investments in clean technology stocks.

  3. Environmental Equity Screens - Treasury will develop new investment screens for its investment managers and outside consultants to use when evaluating a company's potential exposure to environmental liabilities.

  4. Investor Network on Climate Risk - Pennsylvania will formally join the INCR, a network of institutional investors and financial institutions that promotes better understanding of the financial risks and investment opportunities posed by climate change.
With venture capitalists backing clean tech strongly -- $1.6 billion in 2005, according to Cleantech Capital Group -- we concur with Pennsylvania Environmental Council president Brian Hill's characterization of the new plan as "progressive and prudent." We hope that this move signals a trend among institutional investors, who tend to be a bit more conservative in their strategy, but who also manage huge pools of money. ::Keystone Green via Yahoo! Finance
Update: Just to clarify: Casey announced this initative, but it was a product of action by the Pennsylvania legislature. Also (as a commenter has already noted), Casey is the Democratic candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Rick Santorum.

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