Financing China’s sustainable urban transformation

For China to meet its climate goals under the Paris Agreement and its 2060 carbon neutrality target, it is estimated that the country needs to spend US$20 trillion over the next three decades across all sectors. As cities are the primary source of China’s carbon emissions, much of this investment is needed in the form of low-carbon and sustainable urban infrastructure. Decades of rapid infrastructure growth, initially funded through the sale of land use rights and off-budget investment vehicles, have left many municipalities in deep debt. The low-carbon transformation of China’s urban areas is a crucial action towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal. In this policy insight, Jasmine Tillu addresses how the challenge of financing the transformation may be met.