BEIJING, March 22 China will make its green bond
standards more consistent with international criteria to help
attract more investment, Ma Jun, chief economist of the central
bank, said on Wednesday.
China needs at least 2 trillion yuan ($290.41 billion) of
green investment annually over the next five years to promote
environmental protection and reduce the effects of pollution
from its rapid industrial growth over the past three decades.
"One barrier to cross-border green capital flows is the lack
of consistent standards and information disclosure requirements
for green bonds between different markets," Ma told a news
conference. That could lead to duplication of green bond
verifications and other transaction costs, he said.
Promoting "harmonisation" of green bond standards between
China and Europe will help foster cross-border debt investment
and create more opportunities for European investors, said Ma.
Rough estimates by some industry experts suggest that about
90 percent of Chinese green bonds issued are already consistent
with standards adopted by most international investors, he said.
China has become the world's largest green bond market,
accounting for nearly 40 percent of global green bond issuance
last year, Ma added. China's green bond issuance reached about
230 billion yuan in 2016 - 200 billion yuan on the domestic
market and 30 billion yuan overseas.
Developing a common language on green finance standards
will enhance investors' confidence to support green finance
"through more consistent definitions and mythologies", said
Jonathan Taylor, vice president of the European Investment Bank.
The EIB is working with China's Green Finance Committee to
look into differences between the country's green bond standards
and international standards, officials said.
Rating agency Moody's said in January green bond issuance
worldwide could cross $200 billion in 2017, doubling the 2016
record, as it continues to be driven by the Paris climate
agreement and China's clean energy campaign.
($1 = 6.8868 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Kevin Yao and Qizi Sun)