Photo credit: Asian Development Bank

AS CHINA PREPARES FOR G20 PRESIDENCY, GREEN FINANCE RISES TO TOP OF THE AGENDA

WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer served as co-chair of the Green Finance Task Force of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), helping to tap global knowledge to offer suggestions on ways to factor environmental costs and benefits into Chinese investment decisions.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping joined U.S. President Barack Obama to announce landmark plans to cut climate-warming emissions in 2014, it signaled an important shift for China—and an opportunity to foster and expand green finance to ease the path to a lower carbon future.

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The CCICED Green Finance Task Force identified policies to tap this opportunity. Task Force recommendations included changing commercial banking laws to take environmental damage into account, establishing a National Green Development Fund and creating fiscal and tax incentives to leverage public finance. The Task Force also suggested including environmental considerations in the work of China’s new international financial institutions—the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

Recommendations from the CCICED Task Force report were presented to the State Council, China’s top governing body. As China prepares to host the Group of 20 major world economies in September 2016, ideas put forward by the CCICED Green Finance Task Force will be under consideration at the highest levels of Chinese government.

Looking ahead to the G20 summit, the Chinese government has shown support for a Green Finance Study Group set up under the joint leadership of the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of England. The ideas forged with WRI’s assistance in the CCICED task force will be considered by this study group.

“China is taking the issue of sustainable investment very seriously. I’m pleased that WRI, in partnership with the CCICED, has been able to contribute research and an international perspective to this important work.”

Lailai Li

Director, WRI China