China Construction Bank Chair Says Loss of Biodiversity a Threat to Humanity, Banks Must Focus on Digitisation-Driven Green Finance

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The chair of one of China’s big state-owned lenders has called for the Chinese banking sectors to focus on digital transformation and green finance as part of efforts to save the environment.

Guo Tianli (田国立), chair and party secretary of China Construction Bank (CCB), highlighted the urgent need to address the problem of declining biodiversity during a speech delivered on 15 October at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), held in the Yunnan province capital of Kunming.

“At present global biodiversity loss and declining ecosystems comprise a major risk for the survival of humanity,” said Guo.

“As corporate citizens that bear social duties, financial institutions should actively integrate with biodiversity protection work, employ their own advantages when it comes to mobilising social resources, engage in the in-depth participation in global environmental regulation, and drive the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of resources.

“At the same time, they should avoid financial activities which have a negative impact on biodiversity and incur financial risk.”

The CCB party secretary called for the Chinese banking sector to give special attention to digitiziation and green finance, which are the “two main trends” for the market.

“The concept of green finance has already become commonly accepted, and banks can only win in the future if they are brave enough to explore green development models and become drivers of the green wave,” said Guo.

“CCB has already made green the background colour for its new financial implementation, and continues to expand the ecosystem map for green finance.”

Guo also highlighted the use of digital technology to invigorate the green development of the Chinese economy and society. According to Guo, as of the end of September CCB’s green loans exceeded 1.6 trillion yuan.

36 Chinese banks and 24 foreign banks and international organisations signed up for the “Banking Sector Financial Institution Joint Declaration for the Support for the Protection of Biodiversity” (银行业金融机构支持生物多样性保护共同宣示) during the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

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