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Green zones to help fund fight against pollution


China's central bank said it is working together with local governments to develop five new green finance pilot zones, an initiative that will help fund the country's fight against pollution-which some analysts have estimated will cost over 3 trillion yuan ($440 billion) annually in investment.

The central bank said a State Council executive meeting earlier in the month approved a plan for setting up the five green finance pilot zones in Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guizhou and Jiangxi provinces, as well as in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The zones are designated regions where financial institutions will be given incentives to issue loans to and fund environmentally-friendly industry. These pilot zones have been selected in eastern, central and western areas that are at different stages of economic and social development.

The cities of Huzhou and Quzhou in Zhejiang province, for example, will focus on industrial transformation. Guizhou province will take advantage of its green resources to develop green finance in key areas of modern agriculture, clean energy and big data.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist of the Industrial Bank Co Ltd, said each of the five regions has its own conditions while building a green finance system. Local governments can work with financial institutions to explore innovative mechanisms in the pilot zones.

People's Bank of China Vice-Governor Chen Yulu said they were considering two new methods to encourage financial institutions to participate in the construction of the new pilot zones: green credit assets with qualified ratings will be regarded as collateral, a move to encourage banks to issue green loans financial institutions' green credit performance evaluations will be put into the Macro Prudential Assessment system, which is also an important stimulus for financial institutions."

PBOC will support and encourage green finance products and service innovation in the pilot zones. Short-term green investment projects can rely on credit, and medium and long-term ones with steady cash flow can consider issuing bonds, he said.

The bank will also step up the pace of perfecting a green finance mechanism, including setting up standards for green credit and green bonds as well as building a green credit system.


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