An Internet finance affiliate of Alibaba Group, together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have announced the formation of the world's first green finance alliance for financial scientific enterprises. The announcement was delivered in Hangzhou on Sept. 5.
UNEP and Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group said they will promote green finance and environmental protection initiatives by signing a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding.
Erik Solheim, executive director of UNEP, said that the agency would seek more partnerships and closer ties with businesses to better leverage their technological capabilities with the help of Internet finance knowledge and the experience of Chinese companies.
"The United Nations has doubts about entrepreneurs thinking they are enemies rather than partners when it comes to environmental development and protection," thepaper.cn quoted Solheim.
Solheim also said the UN has discovered that entrepreneurs play a significant role in investment, technology development and innovation.
"We cannot achieve any progress without their help," he confirmed.
Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial Services Group, said that the company has opened individual "carbon accounts" for its 450 million users in order to help them calculate their own emissions. If a user meets an emissions reduction goal, the company's public welfare partner will plant a tree, which will be named after the user, according to Jing.
The account can not only record emissions, it can also transfer that record into carbon assets for sale and investment, Jing added.
Solheim stated that three factors are necessary to promote green development: laws and rules handed down from the government, sufficient motivation on the part of enterprises and individual awareness of environmental issues. He hopes that UNEP can apply its experience from North and South America to China to form a large green finance platform.
The partnership comes just after China's State Council approved a set of guidelines earlier this month for implementing the national strategy for "ecological civilization."
According to a report by Xinhua, after China took over the G20 presidency last year, it quickly moved to make green finance one of the major topics of the summit. The report said that China proposed the establishment of a G20 Green Finance Study Group, led by the central banks of China and Britain. The group was tasked with developing a report on green finance for deliberation at the Hangzhou summit.