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Green money for low carbon

By HOU LIQIANG and YANG JUN in Guiyang | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-14 07:45
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An aerial view shows Yueshanhu Park in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, on July 10, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Experts have called for intensified measures to tap the potential of green finance in promoting low-carbon transformation as the country forges ahead with its climate targets.

Liu Yanhua, director of the National Committee of Experts on Climate Change, cited a prediction by the Bank of China that hitting the carbon neutrality target before 2060 would require trillions of yuan.

Addressing a carbon neutrality forum held on the sidelines of ECO Forum Global Guiyang 2021 in Guiyang, Guizhou province, Liu said on Tuesday there is a huge funding gap to turn the target into reality.

"Government funding could only help make up a very small part of the gap. The market will have to play a major role in addressing it," he said.

Launched in 2009, the ECO Forum Global Guiyang is the only national-level international forum in China with an ecological civilization theme. Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that features the harmonious coexistence of people and nature.

With the theme "Green and Low-carbon Development-Fostering A Community of Life for Man and Nature", this year's forum attracted over 500 participants, including senior politicians, leading experts and members of international organizations from home and abroad.

The two-day event closed on Tuesday.

China needs to accelerate the establishment of a carbon emission assessment system for new projects, which should cover not only construction but also their whole life cycle, Liu said.

He said such assessment could guide financial institutions to invest in low-carbon projects and help prevent long-lived, carbon-intensive infrastructure, facilities and equipment from being built.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment has rolled out a pilot program for the assessment, but Liu said he hopes the process can be accelerated so that the system can be extended across the country soon.

"This will not only enhance investment efficiency but also promote the construction of a beautiful China," he said.

Substantial institutional reforms will be necessary in the country's financial sector as China strives to promote green finance, which needs clear-cut assignment of responsibilities for different players in the sector, Liu added.

Wang Ceng, vice-mayor of Guiyang, said he looks forward to seeing green finance play a role in promoting green lifestyles and consumption.

Currently, green finance in China is more connected to production, so the country should also enhance green finance services that target the public and the retail sectors, he said.

He said the effort will help encourage endeavors from all walks of life to "reform the previous development model that depends heavily on resource consumption and inefficient growth".

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