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Green should be the color of banking

By Andrew Moody (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-17 10:46

He is confident that Beijing could have PM2.5 levels at acceptable levels by the middle of the next decade or by 2030.

"I am not a scientist but if you read the reports, analysis and proposals from those who know more than me, a timescale of 10 to 15 years seems very possible," he says.

He believes one area in which China may get its pollution levels down and lead the world is in the development of electric cars.

"Although the first wave of electric vehicle development in China is not as successful as everyone had hoped, the second wave that is now coming with fiscal subsidies and a far more sophisticated array of policies will lead to China becoming the world's largest market for electric vehicles in a very short period of time."

Zadek admits there was a lot of skepticism when corporations began to talk green in the 1980s and 1990s.

"I think we are moving through that. I think there is a difference between being skeptical and being cynical which is not a healthy condition," he says.

He says companies have to be aware of their environmental responsibilities and that it is no longer a matter of ticking a box.

"I think overall travel is in the right direction. It is inconceivable that today a major international corporation will not be managing environmental and labor issues in its global supply chain. But 15 years ago that was completely unheard of," he says.

Zadek says that is not just companies but countries that have to be aware of the risks because having bad environmental policies could affect their credit ratings and ability to borrow. Standard and Poor's, the leading credit ratings agency, has recently introduced climate risk into its sovereign credit ratings.

"It could be climate catastrophe such as the effect of changing temperatures on agriculture, the effect of carbon prices on an economy, generally of the ability of an economy to innovate and bring in new (cleaner) technologies," he says.

Zadek believes next year's Paris conference could be a pivotal event and he is confident it will prove more successful than Copenhagen, where no deal was reached.

"I would say the conditions were not right last time for either the US or China to make any move."

Green should be the color of banking

Green should be the color of banking

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