China has moved at record speed to connect finance sector reform with green development, emerging in just a few years as a global leader in mobilizing money to support a low-carbon transition.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development and Chinese partners began looking at green finance in 2013, and what followed “was akin to putting a match to dry straw,” writes IISD Vice President-Strategy Mark Halle. “China is, today, the unquestioned world leader in green finance, and it is using its example to inspire and impress other countries worldwide. And all of this has taken place in a remarkably short period of time.”
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Halle traces three steps China and many other countries typically go through when they’re first presented with an emerging issue—from denying its local relevance, to accepting it and researching it thoroughly, to moving “quickly, resolutely, and strategically” when the moment for action arrives.
“No issue, however, has proceeded through those three stages as quickly and as thoroughly as the subject of green finance,” he notes. “With the financial world coming into alignment with China’s green development needs, the country’s transition to green development, and through that to its vision of Eco-Civilization, is well under way.” And “the consequences will be felt all over the world.”
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