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Mixing it up in fight for the climate

By Fu Jing in Paris | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-13 11:04

China's green policies show benefits of private and public investment

While the United Nations urged countries to use the world's wealth to fight climate change, a Chinese senior official said Beijing has set a successful example in using fiscal investment to leverage huge amounts of capital to meet the targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants.

Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change affairs, said on Tuesday in Paris that China needs to earmark at least $6 trillion in "green investment" as it will reach carbon emission peak around 2030.

By estimates, that is equal to over half the country's total economic output in 2016.

But Xie is confident China has found the right way to mobilize resources from the private sector by using public fund leverage functions and governmental policy incentives.

Xie was sharing China's experiences at the one-day One Planet Summit, hosted by the French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In a news release, Guterres said that "finance is not scarce" but trust should be built to help wealthy countries realize their pledge to provide $100 billion per year by 2020 to developing countries.

To mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015, the summit was held to scale up public and private finance to fight global warming. A total of 170 countries have already ratified the agreement, accounting for 87 percent of the world's total carbon emissions.

President Xi Jinping's special envoy, Vice-Premier Ma Kai, attended the one-day event, consisting of panel discussions and plenary meeting.

Sharing China's experiences, Xie said the huge amount of green investment by 2030 will help China transform its economy and generate new jobs, which could total as many as 69 million.

"We have already designed a package of policies and incentives to encourage the efforts of private and business sectors into this area," said Xie.

By taking advantage of the policy incentives, Xie said that in 2016 alone the Chinese government invested $1 billion in green and low-carbon economy and leveraged $100 billion across the country that year.

Xie pledged that China will continuously share its green experiences with developing countries in the framework of South-South cooperation.

UN chief Guterres urged developed countries to help poor ones in the climate fight.

"It is a simple matter of climate justice that developed countries support developing ones to address a problem that they had no role in creating," he said in a statement.

But he added that governments cannot do it alone and "private capital is a central part of the solution".

He said the global system has tens of trillions of dollars earning low or even negative interest rates.

"The opportunities for productive and profitable, low-carbon, climate-resilient investment are vast," he said.


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