UN Environment Appoints Sustainable Finance Guru Dr. Ma Jun as Special Advisor

Date: 07 Sep 2017

Geneva/Beijing, 7 September 2017 – Renowned economist and thought leader in green finance Dr. Ma Jun, chief economist of the Research Bureau at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has been appointed as UN Environment’s Special Advisor on Sustainable Finance.

As Co-chair of the G20 Green Finance Study Group, for which the UN Environment Inquiry acts as secretariat, he has worked tirelessly to bring green finance to the forefront of G20 decision-making.

Dr. Ma, who is continuing to work with the PBOC in the short-term, will bring his experience and innovative thinking to UN Environment’s work on sustainable finance. His part-time mandate as special advisor to UN Environment will be to explore and help implement new ways to deliver the trillions of dollars needed each year to make sustainable development a reality.

“Our big intentions to deliver a better future for people and planet will remain pipe dreams without the financial muscle to deliver on them; this is why sustainable finance is so important,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.

“Dr. Ma’s role at UN Environment will be not only to help turn existing thinking into action, but to dream up new and daring initiatives to increase the flow of public and private capital toward sustainability.”

UN Conference on Trade and Development research from 2015 showed that the investment required to bring sustainable development in developing countries amounts to US$2.5 trillion each year, with as much as ten times that needed globally in the years to come – mainly from private sources.

The UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System’s Green Finance Progress Report, released earlier this year, finds dozens of encouraging policies and financial product developments that show the public and private sectors are serious about changing this trend.

However, a stronger and more-rapid push is needed, which is why Dr. Ma’s upcoming work with the world’s leading environmental body is so crucial.

Dr. Ma, 53 received a Master’s degree in Management Science from Fudan University in 1988 before going on to complete his Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University in 1994. He will soon return to academia when he takes up a position at Tsinghua University to lead its financial policy research program later this year.

He has served as Chief Economist at the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China since 2014, and is Chairman of Green Finance Committee of China Society of Finance and Banking.

Earlier in his career Dr. Ma worked at Deutsche Bank for 13 years, where he was Managing Director and Chief Economist for Greater China. Between 1988 and 2000, he was senior economist at the World Bank, economist at the International Monetary Fund, and research fellow at the Development Research Center of China’s State Council.

During his 27 years in the financial and public service sector, Dr. Ma has established himself as a practitioner in financial sector development and reform. He has published 12 books and more than 100 papers on macroeconomics, financial markets, environmental economics, as well as green and sustainable finance.

He led the drafting of China’s green finance guidelines and played a key role in launching China’s green bond market. He also contributed to policy dialogues on green finance development in the UK, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, and a number of Latin America countries.

His recent accolades include being selected as the No.1 Asia Economist by Institutional Investor magazine for four years in a row (2009-2012). In 2017, AsiaMoney gave him an award for “Outstanding contribution to green finance development in China”. Finance Asia called him one of the top Chinese bankers and First Financial called him a leader in green finance.

Further reading: Ma Jun on Green Finance and the Role of Government


For more information and to arrange interviews, contact:

 Mahenau Agha, Director of Outreach, Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System
+41 79 105 3614, mahenau.agha@unep.org

UN Environment News & Media
+254 715 876 185, unepnewsdesk@unep.org