For three decades, China’s growth was fueled by government investment and exports of manufactured goods, but rapid growth and urbanization created serious environmental problems.
China’s green finance now presents a massive opportunity for international investors.
The Chinese leadership is committed to environmental protection and sustainable growth, Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), told a forum on Sept 6.
Deborah Lehr of the Paulson Institute, said that China is a bellwether in green finance and believes that more international investors will be involved in green finance.
Last week, the PBOC and several ministries released plans for a complete green finance mechanism to make China the first country with such a set up.
The plan encourages private capital into green sectors and attempts to prevent investment that leads to pollution.
Ma Jun, chief research economist at the PBOC, estimates that the costs of cleaning up China’s environment will amount to at least 3 trillion yuan (around $450 billion) annually. Current fiscal resources can cover no more than 15 percent of that amount. A green market could bring significant private sector investment to meet this shortfall, which means opportunities for global investors, Ma said.
Helen Wong, general manager of HSBC Group, said that the group plans to invest $8 billion in green industries, including $1 billion in green bonds.
In the first seven months of 2016, China’s green bond issues hit about $18 billion, about 40 percent of the world total during the period.