The global green bond market hit USD 160 bn in 2017 and is estimated to reach 250 bn this year, with China becoming the world’s second-largest issuer (behind only the US) in less than three years since the first bond was issued in 2015. This is clear evidence of how the green economy is growing in a country that at the moment is also creating growth opportunities for its neighbors in the whole Asian region and could open doors for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) as well. That’s why this May 120 policy makers, financial regulators, and practitioners from over 35 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America met for the Global Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP) in Beijing to discuss possibilities for greening their economies and to debate innovative financing and policy tools to mobilize capital towards low carbon investments.
Participants at the GFLP presented and discussed recent achievements and policy innovations from China in the world of green finance. They looked at established green taxonomies for investment (such as the Chinese green bonds guidelines), discussed booming green bond markets, and learned about preferential regulatory treatment for green financial assets as well as pilot programs, such as loans for solar energy panels that pose no direct cost to project owners. Especially interesting for LAC stakeholders is China’s growing capital market, which permits the issuance of foreign green bonds or “Panda Bonds”, meaning that LAC countries have access to one of the world’s largest markets for climate financing. The GFLP was an eye-opening knowledge-sharing experience for the participants that revealed practicable approaches to a greener economy.