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Taiwan establishes green finance standards to promote sustainable development


Following a presentation Thursday by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on the Green Finance Action Plan 2.0, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that the goal in establishing an updated 2.0 version of the plan is to further enhance the transparency and quality of information concerning companies listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Taipei Exchange, as well as put in place measures such as classification standards for sustainable finance. By engineering a sustainable financial ecology beneficial to financial enterprises, society and the environment, Taiwan will be in a position to deliver an even more impressive performance in the realm of sustainable development.

With climate extremes leading to frequent disasters throughout the world, global sustainable development has become a shared universal value, Premier Su said. In response, many international corporations have formulated sustainable development plans to guide product sourcing and business practices. The premier explained that Taiwan is now introducing methods emphasizing sustainable finance as a way to evaluate companies' compliance with environmental, social responsibility and governance (ESG) goals.

The FSC has been promoting green finance since 2017, encouraging financial institutions, government funds and state-run businesses to finance and invest in areas of sustainable development. These efforts have produced results in phases and yielded excellent outcomes, the premier said. Domestic banks have provided loan balances of over NT$1.2 trillion (US$42 billion) to green energy tech companies and nearly NT$260 billion (US$9.1 billion) to offshore wind businesses, while the amount of green bonds issued has topped NT$160 billion (US$5.6 billion).

Last October, the government approved a national-level financial guarantee mechanism whereby the National Development Fund and local banks collectively provided NT$100 billion (US$3.4 billion) in financial guarantees to steer continued investment into offshore wind and other major infrastructure projects. According to a survey by Bloomberg news, Taiwan in 2019 ranked third in the world for ESG disclosure and first in Asia, boasting a score far ahead of those of Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

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