China Carbon Credit Platform

UNDP: Private capital could help the low-carbon transition

Release Time3 weeks ago

Beijing, May 23, 2024 – The "Financial Support for the Net-Zero Transition" Sustainable Development Impact Conference was held in Beijing. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asian Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), the Macro and Green Finance Lab at Peking University's National School of Development and the Climate Bonds Initiative, the conference focused on how to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into financial decision-making and promote the net-zero transition through sustainable investment and financing.

In her keynote remarks, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, noted that the Asia-Pacific region currently faces a huge gap in climate finance, with a shortfall of at least US$800 billion per year. With public finances depleted due to the pandemic and other shocks, there is a clear need to release and channel more private capital to help combat climate change.

Keynote Interview Courtesy of the United Nations Development Programme

In her opening remarks, Ms. Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China, said: "We urgently need systemic change and work to channel global capital into the long-term investments needed to support environmental protection and sustainable growth, and to inspire stakeholders to take action. Diana Parusheva, Head of Public Policy and Sustainable Finance, Asian Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said: "China is currently growing rapidly in the transition finance sector and has the world's largest carbon market. China's climate ambitions will have important implications for the world. Dr. Ma Jun, Director of the Macro and Green Finance Laboratory at the National School of Development at Peking University and Dean of the Beijing Institute of Green Finance and Sustainable Development, introduced how China's green finance agenda supports the large-scale development of wind, solar PV and other green industries. He also presented the progress of the EU-China Common Taxonomy (CGT) and called for greater cooperation to expand the coverage of topics other than climate, including biodiversity and SDGs, in the future refinement of the CGT. Mr. Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, said: "As the world's largest green bond market, China has great potential in terms of how to leverage capital to support the fight against climate change. ”  

Global financial leaders and sustainable finance experts engaged in in-depth discussions at the conference, focusing on practical strategies for embedding sustainability at the heart of business operations, as well as innovative investment and financing solutions to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The keynote session focused on the challenges and opportunities for the convergence of global sustainable finance standards. The participants shared their views on green finance and transition finance under the G20 framework, the integration of China's thematic bond market with international standards, the baseline of international information disclosure, and the role of development finance institutions in leveraging social capital.

The first round table focused on the role of the private sector in promoting sustainable development. Panelists shared the critical role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs, highlighting challenges and opportunities; The importance of corporate responsibility, innovation and the integration of the SDGs into investment practices was highlighted.

The conference also saw the release of a new report titled "Financial Support for the Climate Transition of China's Agri-Food Systems: Net Zero Emissions, Climate Resilience and Social Justice". The report shows that financial mechanisms play a key role in driving the sustainable transformation of the agri-food sector.

Following the launch of the report, participants at the second roundtable discussed how to enhance the potential of agri-food systems transformation based on the report's key findings, highlighting the significant impact of the agri-food sector on advancing climate and biodiversity goals. They exchanged insights on various financial instruments and investment strategies that can support sustainable agricultural practices, promote biodiversity and mitigate climate change.