On September 25, 2021, the Green Finance Committee of the China Society for Finance and Banking (China Green Finance Committee) held its seventh annual conference. About 200 experts and guests from more than 70 Chinese and international institutions attended the live conference in Tongzhou, while more than 420,000 people joined online.
Gracie Sun, Senior Advisor and Executive Director of the Paulson Institute’s Green Finance Center (GFC), participated in the conference and presented the findings of the GFC’s Fintech Facilitates the Sustainable Development of Green Finance in China: Case Studies and Outlook (2021) report. Sun said, “China is at the forefront in using fintech to promote green finance innovation. Its carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, along with considerable economic growth potential and dynamic technological capabilities, has ushered in a historic opportunity for the accelerated development of green finance and fintech.” The application of fintech in green finance is gradually expanding to include ESG investment, carbon emission trading, green consumption, green buildings, green REITs, green agriculture, and valuing ecological products.
The Fintech Facilitates the Sustainable Development of Green Finance in China: Case Studies and Outlook (2021) report is the product of cooperation between the GFC and the Institute of Finance and Sustainability. The report:
- Provides an overview of the overall development of fintech companies in China in the last year,
- Tracks the latest progress of the four case studies featured in the 2020 report,
- Includes two new case studies (the ESG scoring system of Harvest Fund and the carbon emission management system of China Huadian Corporation),
- Summarizes the policy, market, and technological challenges in the space, and
- Puts forward recommendations for various stakeholders on how to best foster green fintech development.
Ma Jun, Director of the China Green Finance Committee, hosted the conference. Chen Yulu, Vice Governor of the People’s Bank of China; Sui Zhenjiang, Vice Mayor of Beijing; and Marcos Troyjo, President of the New Development Bank, delivered opening speeches.
In his speech, Chen Yulu praised the China Green Finance Committee and its members for actively participating in the drafting of important policy documents led by the People’s Bank of China over the past year, including “Guidelines on Environmental Information Disclosure for Financial Institutions,” “Environmental Equity Financing Tool,” “Green Finance Evaluation Plan of Banking Financial Institutions,” and “Green Bond Endorsed Project Catalogue.”
Chen also lauded the member institutions of the China Green Finance Committee for launching a series of innovative products and tools such as carbon neutral bonds, carbon pledge loans, and ESG evaluation methods. On behalf of China, Ma Jun chaired and participated in the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group, the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road, the China-EU Shared Classification Catalogue for Green Finance, and the Network for Greening the Financial System.
After several years of efforts, Chen stated that China has established a policy system and market environment to support the development of green finance. Green finance has, in turn, played a significant role in promoting the green transformation of the economy. He pointed out that finance will play an increasingly important role in the process of achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality. He expressed hope that the China Green Finance Committee and its members would continue to leverage their strengths to drive efforts in policy advocacy, academic research, product innovation, and international cooperation to support China’s goals of carbon peak and carbon neutrality.
During the conference, experts discussed and exchanged views on a number of topics, including:
- Environmental and climate information disclosure by financial institutions,
- Financial support for the development of green and low-carbon industries,
- Green insurance services for carbon peak and carbon neutrality,
- Belt and Road,
- International cooperation in green finance,
- Local green finance innovation and reform,
- Carbon market and carbon finance, and
- How to build Beijing into an international ESG center.
Sun moderated a dialogue with representatives from the Bank of China, Tencent Technology, Deloitte China, China Renaissance, and Hwabao WP Fund in the session “Making Beijing an International ESG Center.” The discussion covered green finance standards, responsibility and accountability of information disclosure, innovation of ESG products, capacity building, and international cooperation. To close the session, Sun summed up by saying, “Green finance is an important policy tool to serve China’s carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals and an important part of the high-quality development of Beijing’s financial industry. Beijing is in the process of becoming the next pilot zone for green finance innovation and reform in China. At the same time, the city is undertaking very forward-looking plans to construct an international ESG center by establishing an international green finance exchange mechanism and information sharing platform to serve the global green finance investment and financing market.”
Green finance is an important policy tool to serve China’s carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals and an important part of the high-quality development of Beijing’s financial industry.
In the coming year, the China Green Finance Committee will aim to implement projects that align with carbon neutrality and pursue breakthroughs in promoting the improvement of green finance standards. Specific initiatives include:
- Enhancing environmental information disclosure,
- Strengthening green finance incentive mechanisms,
- Piloting transformational financial instruments, and
- Developing more carbon-linked financial products.