Paulson Institute’s Elle Carberry, a managing director in the Beijing office, was recently invited to speak on a panel in Hong Kong about opportunities, obstacles and strategies for international and Chinese cooperation related to China’s green growth as part of Georgetown University’s Asia Alumni Weekend.
The panel was moderated by Paul Tagliabue, senior counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and included Dr. Joanna Lewis, Associate Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University and author of a recent Paulson Institute Think Tank paper; Dr. Chang Wei, President and CEO, National Institute of Clean and Low-Carbon Energy of the Shenhua Group, the largest coal company in the world; and Pierre F. Lapeyre, Jr., Founder and Senior Managing Director at Riverstone Holdings, an energy and power-focused private investment firm.
Business opportunities related to China’s green growth are significant and expanding, and each of the panelists offered their perspective on how to seize the opportunity and overcome the challenges. Carberry underscored the need for green finance, one of the focuses of the Paulson Institute’s work in China.
Ma Jun, Chief Economist of the People’s Bank of China, has forecast that only 10%-15% of the RMB 2 trillion ($350B) needed to meet the country’s current environmental and energy goals for 2030 will come from the government. “We can overcome this financing obstacle by encouraging green finance for cleaner industry and energy,” Carberry said. “Equally critical are the current financial, policy and tax distortions that favor energy-intensive and polluting industries. These must be addressed.” Carberry cited Ma Jun’s recent book, in which he writes that “the cost of this policy bias has in fact been to suppress the development of low-polluting service industries.”
The Paulson Institute helped launch the Building Energy Efficiency Fund, a financing mechanism that will help bridge the gap between higher upfront costs for green technologies and the longer-term payoff.