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E3G – CBEEX workshop on “The Case for a Chinese Green Investment Bank” in Beijing

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On March 20, 2013, together with China Beijing Environment Exchange (CBEEX), E3G held a workshop on “The Case for a Chinese Green Investment Bank” in Beijing, China. The meeting aimed to discuss recent European experiences on “green finance” and the lessons for China, and identify areas for further co-development opportunities on green investment and climate finance.

The co-organizer, CBEEX, is a government-affiliated agency who provide a market platform and trading services for various environment equities. Over 30 participants from government agencies, domestic banks, investors, multilateral development agencies, think tanks as well as NGOs were invited to share experiences and exchange ideas during the meeting.

China has introduced measures to achieve its 40-45 percent carbon intensity reduction goal by 2020, including piloting a series of low-carbon provinces and cities. While there is an increasing focus on strengthening capacity within these areas, a noticeable gap in the area of finance exists. Understanding the importance of deploying innovative financing instruments for delivery of scaled-up investments is therefore an area that should be addressed.

The workshop started with E3G’s CEO Nick Mabey giving a presentation on lessons from EU green finance which introduced the green investment challenge and outlined some European green finance experience from Germany, UK and the European Investment Bank. Based on this experience E3G suggested some key questions for China on how to understand the barriers and opportunities for delivering Green Finance and the potential role of a Chinese Green Investment Bank.

The President of CBEEX, Mei Dewen, then presented an analysis of key issues in developing China’s pilot carbon market as well as CBEEX’s past achievement and current work plan.

The following roundtable discussion evolved around both carbon market and green investment. Representatives from China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), UNDP, IFC, WWF China, China Industrial Bank and more shared their work, view and questions with all the participants. For Green Investment Bank (GIB), for instance, IFC raised questions on how the UK GIB defines “green” and how should we regulate and improve the practice of existing banks, including their assessment of high carbon investment. WWF China emphasized the need to learn from European experience, the commitment from the central government and mechanisms to stimulate the private investment. Industrial Bank stressed the need for learning by doing in China and explained the evolution of some of their current innovative financial products.

This meeting was funded by the Blue Moon Fund.

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