Finance underpins green development in Huzhou
An aerial view of photovoltaic panels erected over fish ponds in Huzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/hz66.com]
Huzhou in East China's Zhejiang province is pursuing green development by utilizing financial tools.
Incentives including low-interest loans and subsidies have been offered to help local enterprises make the shift to green and low-carbon development.
In 2017, Huzhou was designated a national pilot zone for green finance. Green finance refers to structured financial activity that has been created to ensure a better environmental outcome.
The green loans have registered an average annual growth rate of 43 percent in Huzhou since 2017, while the city's energy consumption per unit of GDP and chemical oxygen demand (COD) emissions fell by 16.4 percent and 31.3 percent respectively.
The city has established an integrated green finance service platform by using big data technology, which has helped to bridge green projects and financial institutions. Since its establishment, the platform issued more than 240 billion yuan ($36.92 billion) in loans to nearly 23,000 enterprises.
One such example is an electric power industrial park in Deqing county. The project recently obtained a credit of 49 million yuan from Deqing Rural Commercial Bank after it was accredited as having a positive impact on the ecological environment by the Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) accounting system.
Local authorities have pledged to allocate a special annual fund of 1 billion yuan to incentivize enterprises to seek green development.
Those listed as key green companies or projects in Huzhou are entitled to receive loan interest discounts of up to 12 percent and a 50-percent discount in security deposit interests.