Catalytic compounds, catalytic electrodes comprising such compounds useful for generating formate from carbon dioxide, and methods of regenerating such electrodes are described. The catalytic compounds are in general compounds of Formula (I) or Formula (II): ##STR00001## wherein: each R is independently H or a C.sub.1-C.sub.30 hydrocarbyl radical; each R.sub.1 is independently a C.sub.1-C.sub.30 hydrocarbyl radical; each X is independently selected from O and CH.sub.2; L is a covalent bond or linking group; Z is an at least one planar pi-bond containing organic group; each Q is a neutral two-electron donor ligand; n is 1 or 2; and A.sup.- is a non-coordinating counter-anion.
STATEMENT OF FEDERAL SUPPORT
 This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-SC0001011 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights to this invention.