This century has witnessed the peak of human civilization, in terms of sheer progress in technology, industry and human capability. This peak, however, is accompanied by large scale depletion of environmental resources, pollution and harm to the environment. Hence, the need for green finance is larger than ever. Green finance has been defined as the practice of making financial investments into projects and initiatives for the upkeep and safeguarding of the environment.
From climate control and pollution control to biodiversity protection or sanitation, all investments into environment-friendly projects are considered green finance activities. Several countries and private agencies have taken proactive steps to enforce and enact green finance practices of late.
The New Directive from the People’s Bank of China
On the 26th of June, 2015, a representative of the People’s Bank of China announced that the bank has been considering green finance for a while. They are in the process of preparing a directive regarding green-finance bonds which will show up on the interbank market.
The PBC’s Head of Research, Lu Lei declared at the 2015 Eco Forum Global Annual Conference held at Guiyang on June 28 that this directive will be announced and implemented very soon. Lu also reveals that the research bureau of the Chinese central bank is also working towards making corporate credit bonds greener in nature.
The official statement says that The PBC is drawing up a comprehensive financial reform agenda to be implemented from 2016 to 2020. Green Finance development is an integral part of this agenda as well, so several changes can be expected in the near future.
Objectives of These Efforts
The measures implemented by the bank are attempts to shift the focus of social capital investment to energy-efficient green industries instead of energy consuming and high-polluting industries. Over the last three decades, China has undergone huge developments and grown into the second largest world economy, but this has taken a tremendous toll on its environment.
To counter its environmental issues, China has implemented and will continue to implement reforms to reshape its industrial model into a low-carbon and a sustainable one. These steps involve a large investment into restoration and environmental protection. Both human and financial backup will be required to bring about any major changes. A systematic arrangement of market-based institutions is to be established to promote and stimulate eco-friendly green investments through several services and products ranging from stocks, bonds and private equity to insurance, green loans and carbon emissions trading.
Steps Taken to Implement Green Finance
The Chinese government’s extensive work on loan credit has facilitated the development of a set of guidelines and also a statistical reporting and analysis system for green-lending. Seven regions have already launched carbon emissions trading programs, according to reports from the research bureau. Lu indicates that while China has made tremendous progress in formulating and testing green finance policies, the sector has a long way to go in terms of designing a framework and developing financial products and services, before it can come to fruition.
The creation of these systems provides an insight for financial institutions into the impact of any investment they make on the environment prior to the investment or loan itself, and hence allows smarter, regulated green spending. They can also check debt review websites to invest better in green finance.
The Last Word
The Chairman of China Galaxy Securities, Chen You’an says that the Chinese green industry will witness annual investments of 3 trillion Yuan (around US $0.47 trillion) from 2015 to 2020. As less as 10-15 per cent of this sum will be coming from the government, while the rest will be collected from the social and private finance sectors by implementing the new statutes.
Forums and conventions are being held regularly all over the world by private bodies as well as large unions like the United Nations. China has already taken large steps into the green finance industry which could revolutionize the world’s financial outlook and save the environment too. There is no doubt that this is the future of our world, and that the development of a greener economy will soon become the global standard.
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!
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