Chinese officials have vowed to tap the potential of green finance to help accelerate low-carbon transition in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, as China forges ahead with its own progress.
Addressing the Belt and Road Forum on Green Finance and Low-carbon Development in Beijing on May 25, Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of Ecology and Environment, said that there is growing consensus among the international community to deal with climate change.
"A green, low-carbon transition will be necessary for countries to achieve sustainable development," the minister, who is also convener of the advisory committee for the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition, stressed.
"Transition is also the optimal solution for the world in promoting a green economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Proposed by President Xi Jinping during his speech at the opening of the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, the BRI International Green Development Coalition was launched in April 2019, and now includes 150 partners from more than 40 countries. The aim of the Coalition is to support the building of a green Belt and Road, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by promoting policy dialogue, information sharing, technology transfer and demonstration project and capacity building, according to the ministry.
Zhao said that as the largest developing nation, China unswervingly follows a green, low-carbon and high-quality development path that prioritizes ecosystem conservation. Meanwhile, the country has been proactively fulfilling its international responsibilities through joint efforts with other parties, to build a green Belt and Road.
Upholding the philosophy of ecological civilization and the goal of sustainable development, China has always been committed to the principle of green development, as this also promotes the Belt and Road Initiative, the minister emphasized.
Zhao also expressed his hopes for ramping up incentives for green investment and finance to help build a green finance system that could support the Belt and Road Initiative.
"We should create innovative green finance products and instruments that take the environment and climate factors into full consideration," he said.
Aside from guiding investment from public and private institutions to support the construction of green infrastructure, such products and instruments are also expected to help speed up the transition of BRI countries toward low-carbon, efficient, clean and diversified energy sources, he added.
Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the world's efforts to deal with climate change have created a rare opportunity for building a green Belt and Road.
He said that China has taken a series of measures to promote the development of green infrastructure, energy, transportation and finance, as it endeavors to promote the Belt and Road Initiative with partner countries.
As a next step, China will enhance top-level design to bolster practical international cooperation on green development, and give full play to the role of green finance in support of such cooperation, he added.
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