China played a leading role in securing a universal climate agreement, according to Helen Wong, Chief Executive, Greater China, HSBC - but businesses must now adapt if they want to remain competitive in the low-carbon economy.

Speaking at the China Sustainable Finance Forum in Beijing on 9 August 2016, Ms Wong said that China is sending “clear and unambiguous signals” of its commitment to combatting climate change. The country has set targets to reduce energy consumption, water consumption and carbon intensity. The further growth of Chinese cities and the development of new infrastructure along the ‘Belt and Road’ to the country’s south and west offers an opportunity to ensure high environmental standards in new construction, Ms Wong added.

Achieving a shift to a low-carbon economy calls for significant resources, however, with annual investment needed of at least RMB2 trillion (about USD300 billion). Ms Wong said that it would be vital for the private and public sectors to work together to unlock the investment needed.

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