Green Buildings

Buildings account for as much as 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, and so improving energy efficiency in buildings is critical for attaining climate goals—especially in China, where more than half of the new buildings in the world are being constructed. The scale of construction in China creates an opportunity for experimentation and innovation in green and energy efficient buildings. Paulson Institute is working to support the development of the green building industry and new best practices that could advance green and energy efficient buildings in China and other markets.

Inspired by ideas set out in the 2016 Paulson Institute research paper, Financing Energy-Efficient Buildings in Chinese Cities, Paulson Institute is working with the construction and insurance sectors to develop insurance mechanisms to incent builders and investors to build green and energy efficient buildings.

Financing Energy-Efficient Buildings in Chinese Cities, June 2016: Dr. Kevin Mo outlines China’s green buildings policies and recommends a green insurance mechanism that can help scale up the green building market.



A pilot project for proof of concept is underway in Beijing. The outcome will include a series of policy recommendations for the Beijing municipal and central governments about the adoption of the green insurance model and a line of insurance products available for the Beijing market.

The project is in partnership with the Beijing Municipal Construction Commission, People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC), Industrial Bank Co., and the Center for Healthy Certification under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Global Environment Facility/World Bank, and Energy Foundation China.

Project Milestones

March 2019: The first Green Insurance Contract was signed in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. The second contract was signed in the city of Qingdao two weeks later.

April 2018: Beijing agreed to be the first city to pilot the green insurance model for scaling performance-based green buildings.

September 2017: As a result of project’s research outcomes, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work adopted a policy for establishing the capital’s green finance framework, including green building insurance into the list of financial products to be encouraged.

March 2017: Paulson Institute signed a memorandum of cooperation on green building insurance with PICC in Beijing to explore the use of insurance mechanisms to scale green buildings and promote green development in China.

February 2017: Paulson Institute brought together executives from China State Construction Engineering Corporation and PICC to discuss collaboration for scaling green buildings in China.

October 2016: Paulson Institute and PICC host a workshop on green building credit enhancement at which participants discussed the role that insurance could play in accelerating the development of green buildings in China.

June 2016: Supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies, Paulson Institute released the research paper, Financing Energy-Efficient Buildings in Chinese Cities, at the second US-China Climate-Smart Low-Carbon Cities Summit.