Op-Ed: Soil Remediation in China: How a Huge Pollution Problem is Putting the Green Finance Movement to the Test

International Institute for Sustainable Development  
Policy Initiative: Sustainable Finance
21. April 2017

Sustainable development is an investment problem. Without shifting the bulk of investment funds from unsustainable activities to sustainable ones, it will be impossible to move the planet onto sustainable foundations, and there is no chance that we will attain the Sustainable Development Goals. The real test, however, lies in the ability of green finance to move to scale in addressing the legacy of environmental damage that plagues the planet.

One such experiment is underway in China where IISD, with Chinese and international partners, is testing the potential of the entire spectrum of green finance approaches to deal with China’s legacy of toxic soils and the urgent need to restore them to health and productivity.

The blog identified that one problem is that, while the techniques for soil cleanup are known, they are expensive. The resulting challenge is two-fold. The first is how to make soil remediation a worthwhile investment for holders of private capital. The second challenge is to ensure that the limited investments from the public purse are used optimally—namely that they are deployed in such a manner as to leverage the maximum private investment.

International Institute for Sustainable Development | Soil Remediation in China: How a Huge Pollution Problem is Putting the Green Finance Movement to the Test

EPF | Economic Policy Forum

EPF | Economic Policy Forum