China's top environmental watchdog has pledged to draft preferential policies and proactively roll out pilot programs on investment and finance to attract more funding for the climate sector.
The announcement came on Tuesday as the watchdog launched a think tank on the issue.
The institute, Climate Investment and Finance Association, was cofounded by five central government bodies, including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the People's Bank of China and the National Development and Reform Commission.
The association aims to conduct theoretical and scientific research on investment and finance in the climate sector and offer support for the decision-making of finance authorities and financial regulators. It will also promote international cooperation in the sector, said Li Gao, director general of climate change and also head of the association.
China has seen marked achievements in tackling climate change. While carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2018 were 45.8 percent below the 2005 level, the share of non-fossil fuels in the country's primary energy consumption had increased to 14.3 percent, he said at the China Climate Investment and Finance International Workshop.
"China, however, is still the largest developing country with the outstanding problem of unbalanced and inadequate development," Li said. "It is facing a series of difficulties and challenges in developing its economy, improving people's livelihoods, eradicating poverty and controlling pollution.
"China still has to continue to make arduous efforts to realize its Nationally Determined Contribution (or the post-2020 climate action target) by directing and promoting more funds to invest into climate mitigation and adaptation. The efforts cannot succeed without the support of climate investment and finance."
He said his ministry is researching a guideline document on climate investment and finance with other related government bodies. It also plans to unveil more effective incentive policies and create a favorable policy environment to facilitate social and foreign capital to invest in the climate investment and finance sector.
The ministry will also join hands with other related government bodies to promote "cooperation of financial institutions with local government and industrial sectors to intensify support for key projects", he said.
Moreover, Li vowed to accelerate the process of launching regional pilot programs on climate investment and finance to help local governments beef up their fundraising capability and broadening their financing channels. Meanwhile, the ministry will proactively pilot and promote climate bonds to attract investment into the climate sector.
Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative for climate change affairs, said he expects the association to work as a major platform that helps tap the huge potential of climate investment and finance.
Despite China promoting work related to climate investment and finance for years, the country lacked a professional institute that could offer technical support for institutes involved and work as a platform for information exchange, he said.
"I hope the association ... serves as a bridge and platform that helps integrate the sector tackling climate change and the financial industry, and enhance climate action in a synergistic manner," he said.