Green Finance and the Two Sessions

(Photo: Lintao Zhang/Staff/Getty Images)


China’s Two Sessions convenes annually in March. The reorganization of the government that resulted in the establishment of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment was the most consequential announcement with regard to green finance last year.

The Two Sessions this year did not feature a fancy headline, but it did provide additional messaging from the central government about the continued priority placed on green finance in the coming year and beyond. Premier Li Keqiang’s work report that cited the importance of green finance in lessening China’s dependence on coal and in fostering development of alternative/new energy sources like thermal energy.  

Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China Chen Yulu advised that the central bank would be focusing on three core tasks for green finance development, which include building a green financial system with unified standards across the country, improving the institutional environment for green finance development, and continuing to promote the internationalization of green finance.

The Ministry of Finance stated that it would be allocating funds to help achieve China’s environmental goals including 25 billion yuan to fight air pollution. The Ministry also emphasized that it would take measures to address environmental concerns by pushing institutional innovations, reform on environmental monitoring systems, implementation of the carbon emissions trading system, and government green purchasing.

In terms of the carbon market, MEE Minister Li Ganjie said that MEE has actively promoted the establishment of China’s carbon market and China will strengthen its carbon market management system, infrastructure, and capacity building to effectively control emissions.

Lastly, as a whole of government respond to the growth of green industries alongside the promotion of green policies, seven ministries announced the green industries guidance catalogue during the Two Sessions. Together, these actions and words from senior levels of the central government provide additional color on what can be expected this year. Do you see a green hue?