PBC, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) jointly released the "Green Bond Endorsed Projects Catalogue (2021 Edition)." The release of the Catalogue will orient domestic green bonds toward the strategy of green and low-carbon development, better empower domestic green finance development, and boost international cooperation on green finance. The Catalogue will come into effect on July 01, 2021. PBC has also published questions and answers (Q&As) related to the Catalogue 2021.
The Catalogue 2021 has achieved three breakthroughs.
- It adopts more scientific and precise definitions on green projects. Carbon-intensive projects such as cleaner use of coal and other fossil fuels are no longer supported and the universally adopted principle of “Do No Significant Harm (DNSH)” is respected so that the constraint of carbon emission reduction is tightened further.
- It improves the mode of bond issuance and management. The Catalogue unified the criteria for defining green projects among regulatory authorities of green bonds for the first time; effectively reduced the costs of green bond issuance, trading, and management; and elevated the pricing efficiency of the green bond market.
- The Catalogue provides a stable framework and room for flexibility for domestic green bond development.
Regarding the rationale of taxonomy in this Catalogue, the Level-II and Level-III Categories are aligned with those of the world’s mainstream taxonomy of green assets, which will help domestic and overseas entities better identify, inquire, and invest in green assets. The Level-IV Categories remain consistent with the Level-III Category of the 2019 Directive Catalogue for Green Industries, so that national key projects on the transition to green and low-carbon development are supported to access list-based financial services. With economic and social development and advancement of national strategy and international cooperation, the sub-levels for green agriculture, sustainable architecture, water conservation, and unconventional water resources may be included in the Level-II and Level-III Categories, to expand the coverage of green bonds. Looking forward, PBC, NDRC, and CSRC will guide and support eligible financial institutions and enterprises to issue green bonds in a bid to underpin eligible green projects. Meanwhile, regulatory authorities of green bonds will continuously step up communication and collaboration, improve relevant financial standards in fighting climate changes, continuously promote uniform fundamental institutions of the green bond market and the convergence of domestic and foreign green bond standards, and better contribute to the achievement of carbon-emission and carbon-neutrality goals.
Effective Date: July 01, 2021
Keywords: Asia Pacific, China, Banking, Securities, Green Bonds, Climate Change Risk, ESG, Sustainable Finance, CSRC, PBC
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