Ma­jor Chi­nese lenders back clean en­ergy pro­grams to curb pol­lu­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By CHEN MEILING chen­meil­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Banks in China are play­ing their part to curb pol­lu­tion and global warm­ing by in­vest­ing 7.51 trillion yuan ($1.11 trillion) in na­tion­wide green projects.

Car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are ex­pected to be re­duced by 427 mil­lion met­ric tons an­nu­ally as a re­sult of these clean en­ergy pro­grams, a re­port has re­vealed, while 602 mil­lion tons of wa­ter will be con­served ev­ery year.

“Green fi­nance is ideal as banks can shoul­der the so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­al­ize com­mer­cial profit,” said Pan Guang­wei, vice-pres­i­dent of the China Bank­ing As­so­ci­a­tion when re­leas­ing the 2016 Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Re­port.

In­vest­ments in en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion projects reached 5.81 trillion yuan by the end of 2016, com­pared with 1.46 trillion yuan in 2011.

Up to 1.7 trillion yuan was in­vested in emerg­ing in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing e-cars, by 21 ma­jor banks, the re­port dis­closed. This brought to­tal loans for green pro­grams to 7.51 trillion yuan.

But there was a re­luc­tance to fi­nance projects in­volved in sec­tors such as print­ing, dye­ing, chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and tra­di­tional fos­sil fuel power gen­er­a­tion.

Still, high-tech pro­grams were well fi­nanced, in­clud­ing new waste-to-en­ergy plants, which are low on emis­sions.

The An­hui branch of the Ex­port-Im­port Bank of China pro­vided 1 bil­lion yuan in loans to Kaidi Eco­log­i­cal En­vi­ron­ment Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd to con­struct six waste-to-en­ergy power sta­tions.

They will gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity by burn­ing gen­eral waste, in­clud­ing rice husks and mil­lion

tons of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are ex­pected to be re­duced an­nu­ally

straw. “En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion projects re­quire sub­stan­tial cap­i­tal and it takes a long time to get the money back,” said Feng Chun­ping, gen­eral man­ager of the strate­gic plan­ning de­part­ment of the Ex­port- Im­port Bank of China.

To solve this prob­lem, the len­der co­op­er­ated with over­seas fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to fund more than 100 green projects, which in­volved wind, wa­ter and so­lar en­ergy power gen­er­a­tion.

Last year, in­vest­ment from banks in com­pa­nies pur­su­ing re­new­able and clean en­ergy projects reached 1.47 trillion yuan from Chi­nese banks, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

“But in­dus­tries in­volved in high en­ergy con­sump­tion sec­tors such as steel, faced an 8.89 per­cent drop in bank fund­ing,” the re­port stated.

Ma­jor in­vest­ment went to projects to ease wa­ter short­ages and re­pair ecosys­tems.

As ur­ban­iza­tion took off in the 1990s, the wet­lands area of the south­ern Jiao­jiang dis­trict of Taizhou in Zhe­jiang prov­ince shrank by 5.5 mil­lion square me­ters.

In 2014, China Zhe­shang Bank agreed loans worth 700 mil­lion yuan with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to in­crease the width of the river to a max­i­mum 100 me­ters and con­struct two lakes.

This will pre­vent flood­ing and also boost the wa­ter sup­ply by 7.6 mil­lion squareme­ters, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial web­site of the Zhe­jiang wa­ter re­sources de­part­ment.

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