China has rapidly emerged as the leading issuer of green bonds, but although the amount raised is carefully tracked, how the money is being spent is less clear. China issued $36bn of green bonds in 2016, up from almost none the year before, almost 40% of the $81bn of green bonds issued globally last year. The PBOC has estimated that the country needs $320bn a year to meet government targets for addressing widespread air, soil and water pollution. But according to the Financial Times, some observers wonder whether the funds raised in green bonds are reaching their targets. Most green bonds in China have a three- or five-year tenure, which allows Chinese banks and project developers to address a mismatch in maturities between long-term infrastructure projects and the much shorter terms of trust products that many banks have come to rely on in recent years.
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