Calls Emerge for Chinese Financial Institutions to Adopt Science Based Carbon Targets


A leading green finance expert in China has called for the country’s financial institutions to adopt science-based targets to help advance Beijing’s goals of achieving peak carbon by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

Rao Shuling, a senior researcher with the Beijing Green Finance and Sustainable Development Research Institute (北京绿色金融与可持续发展研究院), said that achieving China’s carbon neutrality targets will mean that financial institutions will need to undergo a change in their business models, and that financial assets providing funds to the real economy must similarly achieve carbon neutrality.

“At the present phase, the formulation of scientific carbon mitigation targets and pathways has become the primary issue that financial institutions urgently need to resolve,” wrote Rao in an article for 21st Century Business Herald.

Rao called for China to take its cue from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) that was jointly established in 2015 by the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

“Financial institutions must formulate scientific carbon mitigation targets based on China’s industrial development conditions and actual needs,” wrote Rao.

Rao called for Chinese financial institutions to focus specifically upon the two areas of “effectively performing basic carbon calculation work” and “close integration with the transitional paths of industries within China” in order to avoid “false slogans and excessive behaviour.”