Global green bonds, whose proceeds are used to fund environmentally friendly projects, have grown at a rapid pace since they were first issued in 2007. And China is a leader in the shift toward financing with them.
Experts are now calling for more coordinated efforts from both regulators and market players to fuel developments in green finance.
Globally, 167 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of new green bonds were issued in 2018, while China is by far the largest issuer of green bonds among the world’s emerging markets. And the total issuance of Chinese green bonds in the first quarter of this year hit 6.9 billion U.S. dollars, reflecting annual growth of 44 percent, according to fresh data from the Climate Bonds Initiative.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) also made a statement recently to encourage companies in pilot regions to issue green bonds and accelerate infrastructure construction.
Luo Shiyi, director of Green Finance Department at Industrial Bank, appreciated that move by the central bank.
“The bonds and other debt financing instruments could be used for supporting the companies’ business development related to environmental protection. That would attract more funding and financial institutions to participate.”
Ma Jun, a current member of Monetary Policy Committee at PBOC and a former chief economist at the bank, led the drafting of China’s green finance guidelines.
Based on Ma’s words, China’s green bond market started in 2016 and has already raised more than 700 billion yuan (101 billion U.S. dollars). And the country has eight trillion yuan (around one trillion U.S. dollars) worth of green loans, accounting for 10 percent of the banking system portfolio.
“Also we launched 400 private equity funds in the green sector, which includes green funds, solar funds, and many other funds may be investing in some green products that are not called green funds yet,” he added.
Ma also chaired the Green Finance Committee, which initiated and set benchmarks for green finance products. He said that China’s green financing sector is growing fast, while the total financing amount is still far from the requirement.
“Green investments are critical,” stressed Ma, who spoke highly of China’s role in international green finance collaboration, especially for the Belt and Road Initiative, and called for a more coordinated green financial system globally.