China's capital city on mission to become global center for green and sustainable funds
A recently released action plan for reforming and opening-up the green finance sector in Beijing is expected to aid the capital's efforts to become a global center for sustainable finance, according to officials and experts.
Titled "Action Plan for the Reform and Opening-up of the Green Finance Sector in the 'Two Zones'", the document was jointly issued by eight organizations. They include the Beijing Bureau of Local Financial Regulation and Supervision, the People's Bank of China and the Beijing Office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
It aims to reform and open up the green finance sector in the two zones, namely the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening Up the Service Sector, and to accelerate efforts to develop Beijing into a global center for green, sustainable finance capable of supporting research, decision-making and the running of the market.
The action plan sets out 22 tasks, which include perfecting the functions of the green finance market, supporting the development of green industries and the construction of green cities, furthering international cooperation in green finance, and improving the infrastructure for green finance.
"The action plan is conducive to realizing concrete improvements in green financial services," an official with the Beijing Bureau of Local Financial Regulation and Supervision told people.com.cn.
The official added that it will also serve as a source of reference for other regions of the country as they explore methods to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals through financial initiatives.
A national leader in developing green finance, Beijing still has room for growth in the sector under the guidance of the action plan, Wang Xun, a researcher at Central University of Finance and Economics, told chinadevelopment.com.cn.
Wang believes that compared with a center for green finance, positioning Beijing as a center for sustainable finance is more inclusive. This is because it uses the advantages of the capital's financial resources and the pilot policies for the two zones, in addition to bringing in green finance institutions, building green finance infrastructure and developing innovative green financial products, among others.
The action plan says that Beijing will enhance dialogue in the field of green finance with other global financial center cities and international platforms for sustainable finance, which "will bring new opportunities for the green finance sector in Beijing," according to Wang.
As a national center for financial management, Beijing has participated in international exchanges and cooperation in the sector. In the future, Beijing can promote collaboration among various market players such as the government, businesses, investment institutions and intermediaries to form a unique development pattern centered around the two zones, Wang suggested.
In November, Bank of Beijing won the annual award at the IFF Global Green Finance Award initiated by the International Finance Forum for its efforts in practicing green finance.
The Beijing government and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China held the Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions Meeting 2021, with the theme of "promoting climate-friendliness and advancing green finance and sustainable development".
The meeting saw the release of the Beijing Initiative on Climate-Friendly Banks, which is the first international initiative to support financial institutions in responding to climate change.
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