SHANGHAI - China issued 350 billion yuan ($54.13 billion) in green bonds in the first eight months of the year, up 152% compared to a year earlier and already surpassing the total amount for 2020, a senior central bank official told a forum on Saturday.
Chen Yulu, Vice Governor of the People's Bank of China, said more than half of the total was issued as part of the country's new "carbon neutrality bond" scheme aimed at financing the country's transition to clean and low-carbon energy.
China has promised to make full use of new and innovative financial mechanisms to achieve its climate targets.
But overseas researchers say there are still loopholes in China's rules that allow green bond proceeds to be used to fund the day-to-day operations of coal-fired power plants.
Companies were also allowed until this year to apply for green bonds to help fund "clean coal" projects.
Central bank advisor Ma Jun has estimated that China will need to mobilise more than 100 trillion yuan to meet its target to bring emissions to net zero by 2060.
($1 = 6.4660 yuan)
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Sam Holmes) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +86 21 2083 0066;))