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China's approaches to financing sustainable development: policies, practices, and issues


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To curb the country's energy use and decarbonize its energy supply, China invested heavily in energy efficiency and clean energy in the past 5 years. China's investment in clean energy surpassed the amount invested during any previous Five-Year Plan period and made China the global leader in clean energy investment. The investment potential in clean energy is, however, far from being achieved in China. There are several barriers that are hindering China's ability to meet the demands for financing clean energy development. This paper reviews China's recent efforts in financing clean energy. It first reviews policies for facilitating green investments. It then describes the types and areas of green investments and activities carried out to date in China with regard to clean energy financing. A discussion follows examining key barriers to achieving investment potentials in China. The paper concludes with some recommendations for China to scale-up investments in sustainable development.