"China has the power to drive a global clean industrial revolution": Mark Kenber at China Climate Finance Project launch
- 14 November 2013
BEIJING: The Climate Group launched the China Climate Finance Research Project in Beijing this week, at an event where Chinese entrepreneurs, policymakers and finance experts discussed the future of climate finance innovation in China.
The China Climate Finance Research Project is a joint initiative of The Climate Group, China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation and China Clean Development Mechanism Fund. The Project aims to link financial institutions, governments and businesses to address China’s climate finance limitations and develop innovative new mechanisms and policy frameworks to address these challenges.
The launch event was followed by two panel discussions, during which speakers agreed that China has made great progress on climate finance strategy and carbon market policy so far. But the discussion soon centered on the challenges that China still faces in the transition to a low carbon economy.
Li Junfeng, director-general of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, said: "Market mechanisms, including carbon markets, will help solve our problem of climate change but we must have certain financial intervention and financial support. Today, we hope the launch of this Project will provide a platform to engage in climate finance research at home and abroad, and for related businesses and research institutions to jointly explore how to build China's national energy conservation and its financing."
Chen Huan, director of the China Clean Development Mechanism Fund, the Ministry of Finance, said: "We have received investments from the government, financial institutions, the private sector, and various types of funds. All the parts are in place, but we need to integrate them and build a platform for private businesses or financial institutions that are interested in financing green growth in order to develop a low-carbon economy. We expect that our platform will enable them to understand that it is profitable for them to invest in climate financing projects. This is the goal of our work. We will need the broad participation of the financial sector to combat climate change."
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, also spoke of China's progress and the barriers the country faces in its transition to a clean economy. He said: "China is expected to reveal long-term policies and raise social awareness on climate change. It is already shaping the world's economy like no other country and China has the power to drive a global clean industrial revolution. But I don't believe that the major challenge is that climate change education is financially unsustainable. It's clear from examples all around the world, not least here in China, that climate change investment is profitable, certainly profitable from a social perspective and almost certainly in many cases profitable from the private sector's perspective. So why is it not happening? One of the barriers, I think, is to do with clarity of long-term policy. And when we tackle these barriers, and from the opportunities, collaboration and lessons learned from this Project, we must pass the experiences of China to the world."
In response to audience questions, Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, then called for global collaboration to tackle climate finance and action. She said: "Today we talk about climate finance because climate change is a global problem. Regardless of the scientific community, economic or technical community, studies have indicated that the world must work together to tackle climate change challenge."