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China’s energy finance footprint

Renewable energy investment in China reached US$ 102.9 billion in 2015, according to the UNEP. That was 36% of global investment – more than the US, the UK and Japan combined.

But China’s energy finance footprint is larger than the Middle Kingdom itself, explains Content Director Deepali Srivastava in her latest Forbes column. For its twin development banks are now the largest provider of energy finance in the world. China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China together provided US$ 13.5 billion a year from 2007-14 in energy finance to foreign governments, which is more than the World Bank provided during that time.

Unfortunately, she points out that more than 90% of those loans are in coal and large hydropower. “This path is simply not sustainable. Not only is it inconsistent with the commitments China has made – toward UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change – but it’s also fraught with risk.” Check out the column for her thoughts on whether Chinese financing will lock recipients into carbon-intensive energy infrastructures for decades, or whether it can promote a long-term development agenda that’s low-carbon and socially inclusive.

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