UNDP China and Industrial Securities Co Ltd partner to identify potential investment opportunities within China’s carbon neutral sector

March 31, 2023

Experts engage in discussion during the launch event for the China SDG Investor Map Phase II

31 March 2023, Beijing – The second phase of the China SDG Investor Map (the Map), a country-level market intelligence tool guiding investors towards investment opportunities with the potential to generate both SDG impact and financial returns, was launched today.

Co-developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Industrial Securities Co., Ltd, a leader in green securities finance in China, Phase II of the Map focuses on China’s carbon neutral sector. In particular, it centres around China’s dual carbon goals, the government’s target to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and reach carbon neutrality before 2060.

Leveraging technologies such as AI, big data and natural language processing (NLP), the Map identifies 18 investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) targeting renewable energy and the circular economy.

Phase I of the Map, which launched in 2021, identified 11 IOAs across the Healthcare and Agriculture sectors.

The methodology for the Map was developed by SDG Impact, UNDP’s flagship global initiative to mobilize private sector capital and activities towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, Impact Intelligence, an AI-driven sustainability-focused research company, helped provide technical support.

Globally, 29 SDG Investor Maps have been developed identifying close to 500 IOAs spanning emerging markets in countries including Colombia, Nigeria and China.

The launch of the China SDG Investor Map Phase II comes shortly after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth and latest report stating that the global community “is in a critical decade for climate action”. As one of the world’s largest economies, the implementation of China’s dual carbon goals has the potential to make important contributions to achieving the 1.5 degree Celsius target of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Fabienne Michaux, Director of SDG Impact stressed, “The latest IPCC report put out its starkest warning yet - that to ensure a sustainable livable future, critical decisions and actions must happen now to halve emissions by 2030. Scaled up financing is an enabler to our efforts to tackle climate change and the other 16 SDGs connected to it. The launch of Phase II of the China SDG Investor Map, focused on the carbon neutral sector provides the information needed to help move closer to the 2030 Agenda.”

The launch event brought together 50 government entities, think tanks, financial institutions, and civil societies in the Carbon Neutral sector. Discussion aimed at exchanging ideas on how to find ways to take advantage of the potential investment opportunities identified by the Map.

“The challenge is not one of availability of funding, but rather how funding is being prioritized,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China in her remarks. “Redirecting around just 1 percent of global financial assets would be enough to finance the global energy transition needed to keep the goal of 1.5 degrees alive. This should not be considered a cost. It is an investment in our collective future.”

“The China SDG Investor Map co-developed with UNDP is a breakthrough in the field of green securities finance,” said Yang Huahui, Chairman of Industrial Securities Co., Ltd. “By sharing research capabilities and results globally, it helps to bridge the information gap between the industry and the investors, and provides an important reference for domestic and foreign investors to participate in sustainable investment in China. Leveraging finance is critical to accelerate the realization of dual carbon goals.”

During the event, the different IOAs were presented by representatives of the project team, in addition to details on the Map methodology, key findings, as well as recommendations for stakeholders including investors, project owners, policymakers, think tanks and academia.

In the afternoon, three panel discussions took place on financing the transition toward the dual carbon goals as well as specific investment opportunities in the sectors of focus – renewable energy and circular economy.

The first panel discussed policy and market trends against the backdrop of China’s announcement of its dual carbon goals. Analysis focused on the financial and non-financial risks faced by investors during the low-carbon transition process, as well as how to utilize technology and tools to adjust operational strategies and optimize portfolios.

During the second and the third panel discussions, guests from financial institutions, enterprises and industry associations exchanged ideas about the investment needs, opportunities, bottlenecks and development trends in the IOAs in the circular economy and renewable energy.

The China SDG Investor Map is currently accessible on the global SDG Investor Platform here

The Technical Report on the Map can be found here.