Green Finance in China – Timeline, Government Commitment and Early Indicators

In July 2007 the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the PBC, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) jointly released the Opinions on Implementing Environmental Protection Policies and Laws to Avoid Credit Risks (Ministry of Environmental Protection Document [2007] No.108), which marked the formal establishment of China’s green credit system.

In February 2012, the CBRC released the Guidelines on Green Credit, and specified requirements for financial banking institutions to provide green credits and to promote energy savings, emission reductions, and environmental protection.

The Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, amended in 2015, explicitly encourages insurance for environmental-pollution liabilities.

In September 2015, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council released the Integrated Reform Plan for Promoting Ecological Progress, defining a top-level design to construct China’s green financial system.

From 2007 to the third quarter of 2015, there were more than 45,000 firms/transactions for environmental- pollution liability insurance in China, and insurance risk funds provided by insurance companies totalled over RMB 100 billion.

On October 8, 2015, the SSE and the China Securities Index (CSI) Company jointly released the SSE 180 Index which is the first Chinese index involving carbon efficiency. The index classifies firms in terms of their carbon intensity. By the end of 2015, the outstanding volume of green credit in China reached RMB 7.01 trillion, an increase of 16.4 percent over the end of 2014.

By October 2015, there were 32 green funds established by fund-management institutions, including 15 index funds and 17 actively managed funds.

In December 2015, as initiated by China, the G20 Green Finance Study Group was launched to explore options on how to mobilise more resources through green financing to promote the green transformation of the global economy and to enhance international collaboration on green financing.

As relevant policy arrangements have increasingly improved, there has been rapid growth of green credit and green securities.

On December 22, 2015, the PBC released Public Statement No. 39, launching green bonds in the inter-bank bond market to create a new channel through the bond market for financial institutions to support green projects. On the same day, the Green Finance Committee of the China Finance Society released the Green Bond Endorsed Project Catalog, providing green bond issuers with definitions and standards for green projects.

On January 13, 2016, the government of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region set up the Inner Mongolian Environmental Protection Fund, which is expected to reach RMB 20 billion in investments. In addition, local governments in Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces have also launched green funds for mergers and acquisitions.

In March 2016, the Outline for the Thirteenth “Five-Year Plan” passed by the national “Two Sessions” (the NPC and the CPPCC) explicitly mandated to “establish a green financial system, develop green credit, green bonds, and to launch green development funds.” The green financial system has been designated as a national strategy.

In March 2016, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) released the Notice on the Pilot Program of Green Corporate Bonds, establishing a green channel for the issuance of green corporate bonds.

On March 8, 2015, the Green Silk Road Equity Investment Fund was launched in Beijing, with initial capital of RMB 30 billion.

In the first quarter of 2016, the issuance of green bonds was about RMB 50 billion, which was close to 50 percent of global issuances during the same period. By October 2015, there were 16 indices for green and environmental protection designed by the CSI, accounting for 2 percent of the total CSI indices (around 800 indices) for the A-share market.

Source: China Monetary Policy Report Q1,2016

see also:

Notice of the CBRC on KPIs of Green Credit Implementation 2015-02-10

Notice of the China Banking Regulatory Commission on Submission of Green Credit 2015-02-10

Notice of the CBRC on Issuing the Green Credit Guidelines 2015-02-10

General Office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission Opinions on Green Cre 2015-02-10

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