China has excluded “clean coal” from a list of projects eligible for green bonds, according to long-awaited new draft guidelines published by the central bank on Friday.
The new catalogue of eligible projects replaces the previous one published in 2015, and will be open to public consultation until June 12, the People’s Bank of China said in a notice.
The previous catalogue controversially allowed green financing to be raised for the “clean use of coal”, including coal washing plants that remove impurities, and technologies that reduce pollution during the combustion process.
The inclusion of “clean coal” in the 2015 list had put China at odds with global standards, a point of contention for some international investors and many environmental groups.
Chinese financial institutions provided billions of yuan in green financing to coal-related projects last year and have also supported other fossil fuel projects, including the expansion of an oil refiner.
The new guidelines also include projects that help replace coal with cleaner forms of energy for winter heating.
Green finance will also be available for steel mills to pay for mandatory upgrades to their emissions control technology.
The central bank has also added shared bicycle and scooter services to the list of eligible projects.
It will also allow green financing to be used to support China’s carbon and green power certificate trading sectors.
Beijing has been promoting new green financing methods to help industry pay for its transition to cleaner modes of growth.