Chinese regulators are close to releasing new “green bond” standards that would exclude polluting fossil fuel projects from corporate financing channels designed to lift environmental standards.

Beijing has in recent years promoted new green financing methods to help industry pay for its transition to cleaner modes of growth. But China’s inclusion of ‘clean coal’ in a 2015 central bank list of technologies eligible for green bonds has put the country at odds with global standards, a point of contention for some international investors and many environmental groups.

According to Reuters, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation say China’s central bank, which regulates financial institution debt issuance and whose 2015 guidelines were adopted by other market regulators, has already revised the eligibility list. One of the people said the list is due to be published later this month. The People’s Bank of China did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

“If confirmed, ending the policy of financing coal with green bonds would be a much-needed step in the right direction,” said Liu Jinyan, senior campaigner with environmental group Greenpeace in Beijing. “With no new coal projects taking money from the green bonds market, those funds can actually accelerate China’s energy transition and green development,” she said.

Of the US$42.8 billion worth of green bonds issued in China last year, only US$31.2 billion would have met global criteria, according to a report published at the end of February by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a non-profit group backing green bond standards. The share of what CBI calls “internationally aligned” green bonds has been steadily increasing as China’s institutions move to align themselves more with global markets.

REUTERS


中国监管机构限制清洁煤项目使用绿色债券

中国监管机构即将发布新的绿色债券标准,将污染化石燃料项目排除在旨在提高环境标准的企业融资渠道之外。

近年来,中国政府在北京一直在推广新的绿色融资方式,用来帮助工业为其更清洁增长模式的转型买单。但中国将清洁煤纳入2015年央行的绿色债券技术清单,使中国与全球标准相悖,这是一些国际投资者和许多环保组织争论的焦点。

据路透社(Reuters)报道,两名直接了解情况的消息人员表示,负责监管金融机构债券发行的中国央行已经修订了合格名单。2015年,其他市场监管机构采纳了中国央行的指导方针。其中一位知情人士说,这份名单将于本月晚些时候公布。中国人民银行没有立即回应路透社的置评请求。

环保组织绿色和平(Greenpeace)驻北京的高级活动人士刘金燕表示:“如果得到证实,终止用绿色债券为煤炭融资的政策将是朝着正确方向迈出的非常必要的一步。”她说:“由于没有新的煤炭项目从绿色债券市场获得资金,这些基金实际上可以加快中国的能源转型和绿色发展。

据支持绿色债券标准的非营利组织“气候债券倡议”(CBI) 2月底发布的一份报告显示,在中国去年发行的428亿美元绿色债券中,只有312亿美元符合全球标准。随着中国的金融机构开始与全球市场接轨,CBI所称的“与国际接轨”绿色债券的份额一直在稳步上升。

路透社

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