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China Utility-Based Energy Efficiency Finance Program (CHUEE)

CHUEE SME Program Signs Four Banks in Half a Year





IFC launched a 500 million yuan ($80 million) financing and advisory program with Bank of Shanghai to support energy efficiency projects in China, the latest step in IFC’s global effort to combat climate change by steering bank lending to environmentally sustainable private sector projects.


In China, one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse-gases, four new banks have now joined IFC’s China Utility-based Energy Efficiency Finance Small and Medium Enterprises (CHUEE SME) Program over the past half-year. The program expands access to finance to small and medium enterprises by mitigating banks’ default risk on smaller firms’ climate-friendly projects—such as insulating production plants to improve energy efficiency or using solar energy.


“This program demonstrates how IFC harnesses the power of banks and the private sector in the global fight against climate change,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Jin-Yong Cai. “We are now expanding the program to also address water scarcity, which is another of this century’s biggest global challenges.”


United Nations figures show that around 780 million people are still without access to improved sources of drinking water, even though the Millennium Development Goal for access to safe drinking water has been met. IFC’s industrial water efficiency program in China helps the private sector adapt to the country’s acute water challenge by saving water, energy, and other resources. As part of its agreement with CHUEE last month, Bank of Beijing joined IFC’s China water efficiency program to become IFC’s first water efficiency program partner bank worldwide.


IFC first established CHUEE in 2006. By the end of 2012, banks participating in the program had provided loans worth $783 million to 178 energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 19.3 million tons a year, roughly the equivalent of the annual emissions of 40 medium-sized coal-fired power plants. The CHUEE SME advisory services program is expected to promote loans worth $558 million for at least 175 sustainable energy projects, helping to reduce 3.75 million tons of greenhouse-gases annually.


IFC’s global sustainable energy finance programs span 27 countries across five continents and have supported a combined loan portfolio of over $1.7 billion. The programs provide financial institutions and companies with a business rationale for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency projects since resource savings mean that businesses increase profits. The programs contribute to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and promote cleaner production, helping to mitigate climate change.

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