China’s banks had provided a total of 7.26 trillion yuan ($1.09 trillion) in “green credit” by the end of June this year, the banking regulator said on Friday, part of its efforts to steer its economy onto a more environmentally friendly course.
The figure amounted to 9 percent of total loans from 21 major banks and financial institutions, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said, without giving a time period.
The loans covered energy saving, green transportation, pollution treatment and resource recycling, the commission said on its website (www.cbrc.gov.cn) on Friday.
The percentage of the total that was non-performing by the end of June stood at 0.41 percent, it said, 1.35 percentage points lower than the overall rate for all loans.
China is trying to restructure its heavy industrial economy, and its central bank said on Wednesday that it had drawn up new guidelines aimed at encouraging private capital to invest in green sectors while restricting investment in industries that pollute.
It said it would offer incentives like interest subsidies and establish a nationwide green development fund, as well as promote markets and financing tools for the trading of emissions, water and energy use permits.
China’s pledges to bring carbon emissions to a peak by around 2030 would require investment of 3-4 trillion yuan every year, said Ma Jun, chief economist with the research bureau of the People’s Bank, in comments published by state media on Friday.
Ma said the state would only be able to cover around 15 percent of the total, meaning that private capital would have to be mobilized on a massive scale.
Deputy central bank governor Chen Yulu said China needed to use public funds to improve the returns on green projects, and would also develop a green bond market to help finance environmental projects.
Green financing is high on the agenda of the Group of 20 summit on Sunday and Monday in the coastal resort city of Hangzhou, near Shanghai.
In comments published on the central bank’s website, Chen said China had already established the world’s biggest green credit market. (www.pbc.gov.cn).
($1 = 6.6796 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)