Amid ongoing volatility in Chinese and global markets, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) is urging investors to play a greater role in green financing, i.e. the funneling of private capital to fund environmental projects and clean technology.
Speaking to CNBC on Thursday, PBOC chief economist Ma Jun said the world's second-largest economy requires 2-4 trillion renminbi ($315-630 billion) in green investments to face national environmental challenges, which range from air and water pollution to land contamination.
But the government alone can't bear those costs, he warned.
"The public sector can only provide a maximum of 15 percent [of the 2-4 trillion renminbi] so the majority will have to come from the private sector....The financial system has to play a role in mobilizing private capital for green investment."
So, what form could that take?
According to Jun, the main channels will be through the banking system and a green bond market.
Chinese banks are already targeting environmental sectors in their lending practices—a move that's gaining momentum throughout Asia. Singaporean banks are expected to follow suit by 2017 while Indonesia announced plans last year to make green financing compulsory for banks by 2018.