An effort by Chinese policymakers to establish a sustainable economy has pushed the country to the top of a list of green bond issuers.
Chinese issuers now account for more than half the value of green bonds issued by banks, according to research by S&P Global Ratings of the top 200 global banks.
“Chinese banks have contributed significantly to the increase in green bond issuance following the government's decision to build a green financial system in China and the subsequent publication of green bond guidelines by the People's Bank of China in 2015,” said the agency in a report.
The ratings agency identified regional differences in how green bond investments were spent. In China, pollution prevention and clean transportation gained the largest share, while elsewhere in the world, renewable energy and green buildings accounted for most investment.
Despite a rise in issuance, green bonds only account for 0.5% of banks’ total borrowing, according to S&P Ratings’ estimates. The OECD, a grouping of developed countries, has estimated that annual green investment should exceed $4.3 trillion if the world is to limit warming to two degrees.
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