China’s top economic planner and three ministries jointly issued guidance on promoting the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative on March 16, encouraging businesses to increase investment and global cooperation in green infrastructure, investment, finance and environmental impact assessment (EIA) standards, among other fields.
This is the most-recent move to follow up on the 2021 commitment to stop overseas financing of new coal-fired power plants, encouraging solar and wind manufacturers to go global, and companies to follow international standards in managing their overseas projects.
The relevant key points are listed below:
It is intended to further promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)’s green development and make green practically become the BRI’s background color. The implementation of BRI green development is laid out in terms of basic principles, goals, key areas of cooperation, overseas projects, and support and safeguard systems.
It encourages solar and wind power companies, among others, to go global and build a number of green-energy best-practice projects. It calls for deepened cooperation in energy technology and equipment, focusing on joint research and training in high-efficiency and low-cost renewable energy power generation, among other fields.
It requires, under multilateral cooperation frameworks such as the United Nations and the G20, to promote voluntary guidelines and best practices related to green investment, green finance, and capacity building. It encourages financial institutions to implement the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road Initiative.
It argues that companies should be held accountable for their environmental behavior overseas, and to provide guidance to companies on strictly abiding by host countries’ eco-environmental laws, regulations, standards and norms. It encourages companies to carry out environmental protection work according to international standards or the higher standards of China.
Environmental impact assessment:
The Guidance requires companies to raise awareness of environmental risks, strengthen environmental management of overseas projects, properly conduct pre-investment environmental impact assessments of overseas projects, identify and prevent environmental risks in a timely manner, and take effective eco-environmental measures.
Cover photo provided by World Resources Institute.