The 13th Lujiazui Forum was held in Shanghai from June 10 through June 11 with the theme of China’s Financial Reform and Opening-Up amid Great Changes of the World, as reported by Sina on June 11. Green finance emerged as one of the key topics throughout the forum. In a special session on achieving carbon neutrality goals, high-level executives from large financial institutions including PBoC, HSBC [HSBC:US], BNP Paribas [BNP:FP], New Development Bank, and ICBC [1398:HK] commented on the potential of the finance sector to support sustainable economic transition and help enterprises reduce their carbon emissions.
Many financial institutions attending the forum have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprints. For example, DBS [DBS:SP] promised to achieve RMB50bn in sustainable investment by 2024, involving projects in wind energy, solar power, and geothermal alike, as well as to terminate banking services for businesses relying on over 50% thermal energy. Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS, also stated that the bank is willing to provide financial support for clients to transform their business models to achieve zero carbon.
Shanghai, the host city of the forum, is in an advantaged position to promote green finance in China. The city has a large cluster of financial institutions and advanced financial infrastructure, which provides a desirable foundation for the innovative development of green finance, according to Liu Guiping, vice governor of PBoC. At present, more than 90% of green bond issuance in China occurred in Shanghai, and over 60% of the country’s environmental protection enterprises are listed in Shanghai. Moreover, the Bank of Shanghai [601229:CH] has also taken the lead in implementing green credit policies. By the end of 2020, the balance of green loans by the Bank of Shanghai exceeded RMB10bn, an increase of 21.42% from 2019.