Chongqing - Chongqing's first climate investment and financing pilot project declared by the Liangjiang New Area passed the review of relevant national authorities on June 3.
Climate investment and financing is a new financial concept of the current global response to climate change, referring to the investment and financing activities to raise more funds for the national efforts to deal with the climate change and low-carbon development goals set at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
At the end of last year, nine authorities, including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China, jointly issued the Work Plan of Climate Investment and Financing Pilot Project, stressing that local governments are the critical link in accomplishing carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals. The climate investment and financing pilot project should be carried out in local areas to explore adaptable models and provide a successful experience that can be replicated and promoted.
To achieve China's ambitious carbon neutrality goal, China's new investment demand for the response to climate change will reach about 139 trillion yuan by 2060, with an annual average of about 3.48 trillion yuan, according to the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.
Chongqing Liangjiang New Area is at the forefront of the economy in Chongqing. Emerging industries, including integrated circuits, new energy vehicles, high-end equipment manufacturing, and biomedicine, account for nearly 60% of the total industrial output value of Liangjiang. "Areas under the direct administration of Liangjiang New Area contribute more than 7% of the city's total economic output, but only emit about 1% to 2% of the city's total air and water pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions take up less than 3%," said Zheng Yanghua, Director of the Liangjiang New Area Branch of Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau. However, there is still a significant gap in the fund's supply for carbon emission reduction, making it impossible to meet the industries' fund demand. Implementing climate investment and financing pilot projects is expected to change the situation.
Zheng said that by 2023, Liangjiang New Area would build an environment with conducive policies for climate investment and financing; by 2025, Liangjiang will gather active climate-friendly market entities to explore and establish sustainable development models for climate investment and financing.
In recent years, Liangjiang New Area has raised its environmental protection requirements to attract investment. Several projects with a total investment of nearly 20 billion yuan were suggested to "select another location" due to the authority's non-compliance with the requirements for environmental protection, according to Qiu Yi, head of the Administrative Approval Department of Liangjiang New Area Branch of Chongqing Ecology and Environment Bureau. "Great economic benefits do not mean the project can be launched without conditions." Qiu Yi said.
Liangjiang New Area has also seen an improved air quality in recent years. As of May 31, the number of days with good air quality in Liangjiang New Area in 2022 had reached 135, an increase of four days over the same period last year. The mean concentration of PM 2.5 had been reduced to 32 μg/m3, 15.8% lower than last year.
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