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Carbono zero, pero no mucho

- REUTERS - MAY 31, 2021 - Contribuição e Comentário César Tonheiro -

Brechas nas regras de financiamento verde da China podem permitir que grandes empresas estatais usem os recursos de "títulos neutros em carbono" para financiar operações diárias, incluindo usinas movidas a carvão, de acordo com pesquisa publicada na terça-feira ... O financiamento verde se tornou uma das principais prioridades da China, à medida que tenta pagar pela infraestrutura de energia limpa necessária para levar as emissões a um pico até 2030 e zero carbono em 2060. O consultor do banco central da China, Ma Jun, disse em janeiro que a China precisaria de pelo menos 100 trilhões de yuans (US $ 15,7 trilhões) para cumprir sua promessa de neutralidade de carbono em 2060.

Loopholes in China's green financing rules could allow big state-owned firms to use proceeds from "carbon-neutral bonds" to fund day-to-day operations including coal-fired power plants, according to research published on Tuesday.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) examined the first batch of yuan-denominated carbon-neutral bonds issued this year by giant state-owned energy corporations such as China Energy Investment Corporation (CEIC) and the China Huaneng Group.

It said 30% of proceeds from the bonds were to be allocated to the working capital of the issuers.

"The promise of green bonds is that they can help channel capital to energy transition investments," IEEFA researcher Christina Ng said.

"But potentially the proceeds raised by the SOEs from these bond deals could be spent on maintaining a steady or growing coal business, particularly as they have new coal assets in the pipeline."

Neither CEIC nor Huaneng responded immediately to a request for comment.

Green financing has become one of China's top priorities as it tries to pay for the clean energy infrastructure required to bring emissions to a peak by 2030 and to net zero by 2060.

China central bank advisor Ma Jun said in January that China would require at least 100 trillion yuan ($15.7 trillion) to meet its 2060 carbon neutrality pledge.

China overtook the United States when it came to issuing green bonds in the first quarter of this year, raising $15.7 billion, but analysts said more policy support was needed. read more

Companies were previously allowed to apply for green finance to fund "clean coal" projects, even though they still produced large amounts of carbon dioxide.

The central bank has since excluded "clean coal" from the list of projects eligible for green bonds, but up to 50% of green bond proceeds can still be allocated to working capital and used to finance coal, Ng said.

"One hundred percent of green bond proceeds should be going to green projects," she said.

($1 = 6.3722 yuan)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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