China tries to target green development on every thinkable level. Financial analyst Sara Hsu gives in the Diplomat an overview, for example how finance for green targets are being organized by the Green Target Task Force.
Green finance is increasingly encouraged to fund environmental enhancements. The Green Finance Task Force submitted a report last year, noting that economic incentives to encourage green investment should function by increasing the return on green projects, reducing the return on polluting projects, and increasing consumer and investor awareness of these issues. Financial support for green investment is to be raised through discounted green loans, green bonds, and green IPOs. China has set forth rules in December 2015 on issuing “green bonds,” which provide funding for sustainable activities such as saving energy, preventing pollution, conserving resources, protecting the environment, adapting to climate change, and promoting clean energy. Significant funding will be needed to improve China’s environmental outlook.
China’s green development strategy has been repeatedly emphasized in state-level objectives. While all objectives that fall under this umbrella are significant, the multipronged nature of the green development strategy renders it somewhat cumbersome to assess. The green GDP measure that the nation had in place several years ago will help to unify the disparate measures associated with the overall policy. Green GDP will account for costs associated with environmental degradation and the value of natural resources. Green GDP estimates for 2004 were released in 2006, but the practice was quickly rejected as GDP growth without consideration for the environment remained of paramount importance to local officials. However, given the reiterated importance of environmentally friendly production and consumption, a unifying, quantifiable target for green practices is essential. After all, China is making progress on many fronts, and understanding and publicizing these successes are likely to work in its favor.
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