As China is expediting its green drive, global financial institutions will get a boost.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) recently included two foreign-funded banks in a lending program designed for carbon emission reduction. Deutsche Bank (China) Co., Ltd. and Societe Generale (China) Ltd. became the first foreign institutions to get the okay to join the supporting tool for emission cut.
Under the program rolled out in November last year, lenders can apply for low-cost funding from the central bank after a green loan is made. The fund will be equal to 60 percent of a loan's principal at an annual interest rate of 1.75 percent.
The move will offer more opportunities for foreign lenders to take a part in and benefit from the country's low-carbon shift.
"Deutsche Bank is honored to be among the first banks to be selected for this program." This move shows China's "determination and firm commitment to strengthening its focus on sustainable development," Deutsche Bank China Chief Country Officer Rose Zhu said.
Recognizing China's crucial role in achieving global sustainability goals, the bank has set up a dedicated team in the country for green finance.
Green finance has witnessed robust growth in China over the past years driven by the country's long-term pursuit of low-carbon and sustainable growth.
China has announced that it aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Solid steps have been taken in the expansion of green industries and low-carbon transformation of traditional sectors.
Outstanding green loans in yuan and foreign currencies reached 15.9 trillion yuan (about 2.31 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2021, jumping 33 percent from the previous year. Specifically, green loans for projects with carbon-reduction benefits topped 10 trillion yuan.
The issuance of green bonds also boomed. With over 600 billion yuan issued in 2021, up 180 percent from a year ago, China has become the world's second largest green bond market.
China's green finance market is in full swing, said Li Jing, partner of climate change and sustainability services at Ernst & Young Greater China.
The industry specialist expects more overseas investments in green finance products in the country, such as green bonds and carbon-neutrality exchange-traded funds.
Analysts believe that with continued financial opening-up, the enormous and fast-growing green finance will bring tremendous opportunities to foreign institutions.
After the inclusion of the two foreign lenders in the supporting tool for carbon emission reduction, the PBOC said it will consider adding other ready and capable foreign financial institutions to the list.
China attaches great importance to green transformation, adheres to opening-up, treats foreign financial institutions as equals and supports their development in the country, it added.