Paulson Institute launches Green Finance Center

The Paulson Institute today announced the launch of a new Green Finance Center, marking a significant step forward in its efforts to promote sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in China and the United States. Led by Deborah Lehr, Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute, the Green Finance Center will promote market-based solutions to support the development of a robust green finance market in China.

“The development of green finance is a top priority for China and one that aligns with the Paulson Institute’s mission,” said Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr. “I’m delighted to launch the Paulson Institute’s Green Finance Center, which will work to help China achieve low-carbon economic growth, while strengthening U.S.-China financial and commercial ties through promoting transparent, rules-based, and market-oriented solutions.”

Environmental protection is a key national strategic objective for China, and green finance is an essential element of achieving this goal. As China seeks to implement its environmental strategy, it is estimated that public sector financing can only cover about 15 percent of the estimated costs, according to the People’s Bank of China. Innovative financial mechanisms must be developed to help attract the necessary private sector financing to reduce carbon emissions and support environmental protection.

“China has launched an ambitious initiative to develop a vibrant green finance sector in a short period of time. Its efforts are driving change at home and abroad as countries seek innovative means to finance their own efforts in green development and to mitigate climate change,” said Lehr. “Through promoting new ideas and innovative models, the Paulson Institute Green Finance Center is dedicated to working with our partners in China and internationally to support a vibrant international green finance market.”

The Center’s efforts will build upon the Paulson Institute’s current green finance program, which has developed partnerships with leading Chinese and international organizations to promote thought leadership, test new ideas, and develop innovative means of financing green development. During President Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to the United States, Lehr led the Paulson Institute’s efforts, in partnership with the Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, to support the launch of the U.S.-China Green Fund, a commercial fund that invests in U.S. and other technologies to help achieve building energy efficiencies. The Paulson Institute serves as a non-commercial advisor. The Paulson Institute also supports the G20 Green Finance Study Group, which was launched during China’s presidency of the G20 in 2016. Other projects include advice and counsel as China builds a national carbon market exchange, promotes voluntary fair and transparent green finance standards along China’s Belt & Road Initiative, and encourages sustainable applications of financial technology.

Key international stakeholders with which the Green Finance Center will work closely include the China Green Finance Committee, Tsinghua National Institute of Financial Research and its international partners, the UN Environment Programme, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Institute of International Finance (IIF), and the Sustainable Digital Alliance.

About the Paulson Institute
The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China work in complementary ways. Our mission is to strengthen U.S.-China relations and to advance sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in both countries. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington and Beijing.