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Research Center for Green Finance Development

The Research Centre for Green Finance Development (hereafter the GFD Center) was officially established in December 2018 by the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University. The GFD Centre, previously working under the Center for Finance and Development, is dedicated to building a world-leading think-tank for policy research, toolkit innovation, capacity building and international collaboration in the field of green finance. The GFD Center focuses on conducting relevant research on green building, green consumption, green technology and green agriculture. Moreover, the GFD Center will also function as the secretariat for the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road (GIP) and the Global Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP), a point of contact for the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking, and support the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). 

The GFD Center is led by Dr Ma Jun, who also serves as the Director of the Center for Finance and Development (CFD) at Tsinghua University, Member of Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), and Chairman of China Green Finance Committee. During the years (2014 - 2017) he served as the Chief Economist of the PBOC, and led the green finance study group to propose 14 options to develop green finance in China. With these options, the PBOC and other six ministries jointly issued the overarching green finance policy framework Guidelines for Establishing the Green Financial System in 2016. Furthermore, Dr Ma has been co-chairing the G20 Green/Sustainable Finance Study Group on behalf of the PBOC together with Michael Sheren from the Bank of England since 2016, through which many options for developing green finance have been adopted in the G20 Leader’s Declarations, including Summits in Hangzhou (China) in 2016, Hamburg (Germany) in 2017, and Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2018. Being recognized as a global leader in green and sustainable finance, he is also the Chair of Micro-prudential/Supervision Workstream of the NGFS, representative in China-UK and China-France collaborations on green finance, Special Advisor to the UNEP on Sustainable Finance, President of Beijing Green Finance Association, and Chairman/President of Hong Kong Green Finance Association, etc.

The GFD Center has more than 10 full-time researchers, devoted to applying impactful research focus on green finance policy, environmental cost-benefit analysis, green investment along the Belt & Road, environment and climate risk analysis. In addition, the GFD Center is closely engaging with various domestic and oversea institutions including, but not limited to, the PBOC, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, UNEP, UNDP, the Bank of England, the City of London, Finance For Tomorrow, Astana International Financial Centre, the State Bank of Pakistan, the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, Abu Dhabi Global Market, etc. In addition, the GFD Center welcomes visiting scholars and cutting-edge collaborations. 

The GFD Center, the IFC-supported SBN and China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) jointly initiate a well-recognised knowledge-exchange platform, the Global Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP), which was established for the purpose of capacity building and has successfully held two events in May and November 2018, respectively. These events were focused on sharing global experiences on developing green finance and attracted more than 250 participants from 48 countries - mostly developing countries along the Belt & Road, including officials from central banks, ministries of finance, financial regulators, stock exchanges, banking associations, as well as market practitioners from commercial banks and fund managers. Participants from other developing countries have invited the GFLP to host capacity building activities for financiers in their countries. As a response, the GFLP is planning to hold events in Latin America and the Caribbean (IDB), Africa (Morocco), and Astana (Kazakhstan) in 2019, with a focus on regional players greening their local financial markets. 

Another research priority of the GFD Center is greening the investments for the Belt & Road, especially through supporting the Secretariat of the GIP, through efforts including but not limited to encouraging signatories to the GIP, developing tools and detailed guidelines for implementation, as well as reporting progress of its implementation. The GIP was developed by a group of experts coordinated by China Green Finance Committee and the City of London, including experts from Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), IFC supported SBN, Belt & Road Bankers Roundtable, Green Belt and Road Investors Alliance, World Economic Forum, and the Paulson Institute. The GIP was a task mandated by the 9th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) and was formally launched on November 30, 2018 in London. As of the end of 2018, major lenders for the investments in the Belt & Road have signed up to the GIP and more financial institutions and companies are expected to also sign up.

To summarise, research priorities of the GFD Center for the next few years include, among others:

  1. Conducting research on green finance in supporting green building, green consumption, green technology, green agriculture;

  2. Conducting research on green and low-carbon cities;

  3. Supporting financial institutions to improve their capacities on green credit, green investment and environmental risk management;

  4. Conducting research on Belt & Road countries building their green financial systems;

  5. Capacity building through the GFLP and the online platform (, which includes face-to-face workshops, online learning and video products;

  6. Through the GIP secretariat, developing related tools and guidelines, promoting the implementation of GIP by financial firms and companies that are involved in the investments for the Belt & Road;

  7. Supporting work related to green and sustainable elements under the G20 Infrastructure Working Group and NGFS;

  8. Facilitating bilateral collaborations on green finance between China and the UK, France and other countries;

  9. Helping local governments in China and other countries to promote green finance, e.g. designing tools for calculating environmental benefits of green finance, developing green taxonomies (such as for Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, etc.); and

  10. Other topics related to green finance development (such as lowering risk weights of green assets).

For more information about the GFD Center, please contact CHENG Lin (, +86-10-83021702) for green finance related issues, or ZHANG Xin (, +86-10-83021703) for administrative issues.

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