In a letter to industry earlier this week, the New York Department of Financial Services confirmed that banks may receive credit under New York’s state-level Community Reinvestment Act for certain activities intended to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Ensuring access to credit in [low- to moderate-income] communities and underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies for climate resiliency actions may help mitigate climate change risks and at the same time revitalize or stabilize those geographic areas,” the letter said. “Accordingly, banking institutions may be credited in their CRA examinations for financing certain climate resiliency activities that revitalize or stabilize these areas.”
NYDFS provided a non-exhaustive list of activities that may qualify for state-level CRA credit. These include certain investments in renewable energy, energy-efficient and water conservation equipment or projects for affordable housing; community solar projects; microgrid or battery storage projects; projects addressing flooding or sewer issues; flood resilience activities for multifamily buildings offering affordable housing; and installation of air conditioning in multifamily buildings offering affordable housing.