Greening BRI for a Sustainable Future


Dec 10 2018, in Katowice, Poland.   The Belt and Road Green Development and Climate Governance Side-Event Series at the 24th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP24) has officially kicked-off.

Dec 10 2018, in Katowice, Poland.   The Belt and Road Green Development and Climate Governance Side-Event Series at the 24th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP24) has officially kicked-off. Organised by Belt and Road Green Development Partnership (the Partnership), the series of side-events have gathered domestic and overseas representatives from various fields to jointly discuss, how to leverage the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI), South-South Corporation and other multilateral/bilateral cooperation mechanisms to promote China’s climate goals and actions, jointly achieve the 1.5 degree targets with international society, establish an “Ecological Civilization”, and implement the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.


After the stagnation from 2013 to 2016, the total global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018, and it is an indisputable fact that effective actions must be taken immediately to restrain climate change. In this year’s conference, whether the Paris Agreement rulebook can be used to provide comprehensive, equal and balanced models, procedures and guidelines for reaching the 1.5°C goal. The effective implementation of the Paris Agreement has reached a crucial moment.

As one of the fastest economy growing regions, BRI regions have the most rapid growth of carbon emission. The area of BRI regions is 3 times that of China, whereas the per capita income and carbon emissions are only half that of China. It is predicted that the carbon emissions in the region will increase and soon reach China’s current level in the next 20 years. China invests in BRI regions via infrastructure mainly, including energy, electricity, communication and transportation. The construction of infrastructure could play an important role in the economic and social development of the region, though it inevitably creates more challenges in responding to climate change. Therefore, whether China’s BRI investments are green and low-carbon, or in accordance with the recipient countries’ NDC are the key to achieve global energy transformation and the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

Brought up by the Chinese government, Green development has become the consensus of the implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative” initiative. China not only unleashes her determinations in “jointly building a green Silk Road” with BRI countries through domestic and overseas platforms and cooperation mechanisms, but also strives to explore implementation plans. 

Though ensuring the implementation of greening BRI still remains an enormous challenge. For instance, China has participated in a large amount of coal-fired power projects overseas in the past fifteen years, causing international concerns regarding carbon leakage. Meanwhile, the global energy transformation has also increased the risks of overseas coal-fired investment. With the development of renewable energy technologies and the reduction of power generation costs, Chinese companies are striving to develop renewable energy, boost energy efficiency and a sustainable transportation market. As of 2017, China's overseas investment in clean energy exceeded 44 billion USD.

During the investments under BRI, how can we fulfill the power development needs and also reach energy transformation goals of the host country, how can we comprehensively promote the development of renewable energy through cooperation and intercommunication between China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” in terms of policy, capital, technology, etc. How can we effectively raise the level of environmental risk management of investment under the BRI, and enable investment projects to meet and further enhance the pledge on NDC of the host country? 

The answer to these questions requires research on local conditions, demands and development trends, and communication with stakeholders to draw feasible tools, methods and standards. At the same time as the government is promoting the ecological civilization in BRI, China's civil forces have also been engaging in BRI and facilitated communications among BRI countries. The Belt and Road Green Development Partnership are jointly established by 21 Chinese and international NGOs, foundations and think-tanks. It is promoting communications and dialogues between domestic and foreign stakeholders in various fields and levels through solid research and activities, exploring China's schemes and measures to jointly achieve sustainable development under the initiative. The Partnership has also established partnerships with some BRI countries and assist in improving their environmental laws and regulations, and climate schemes, establishing inclusive policies and standards and achieving their NDCs and sustainable development goals. The effort made by the member organizations in the last 2 years has been being introduced and shared through serials of side events at Katowice COP24.

One of the Partnership’s members, the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), is actively carrying out clean stove promotion projects in countries such as Myanmar, and has achieved certain results. JIN Jiaman, executive director of GEI, believed: "China's civil society organizations should actively visit abroad and understand the demands and conditions of the host countries, in order to explore more suitable and more feasible solutions.”

Mr. Irfan Tariq Muhammad, Director of the Division of Environment and Climate Change of the Pakistanis Ministry of Climate Change, claimed: "China's capital and development experience is of great significance to other developing countries. China has invested in many infrastructure projects in Pakistan, and its investment in coal is as the flagship and demonstration project of BRI. It is hoped that China will promote more climate resilient projects in the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, therefore helping Pakistan get rid of the carbon lock-up dilemma and move toward to a low-carbon and green development path.”

BAI Yunwen, Director of Greenovation Hub, the coordinating organisation of the Partnership, comments that, facing the global trend of economic decarbonization, it's critical for BRI investments and financing activities to align with the targets of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 SDGs. Achieving the green and low-carbon Belt and Road could not only promote the implementation of NDCs in the host countries, but also contribute to the possibility of enhanced ambitions for post-2020 climate actions. As CSOs, we look forward to exchanging with countries related to BRI on the experiences and lessons gained in the pollution control and energy transition, to promote the leap towards a sustainable future in the region.


Contacts for Media

Poland: LI Xiulan

Researcher, Greenovation Hub

Cell: +44 7737 887465


Beijing: XUE Yi

Communication Manager, Greenovation Hub

Tel:+86 18614091959


About the Belt and Road Green Development Partnership

In September 2016, Belt and Road Green Development Partnership was launched to provide policy recommendations for sustainable development under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by bringing together Chinese and international think-tanks, environmental NGOs, and foundations. The Partnership aims to fulfill the goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, focusing on issues of ecological protection, climate change, energy transition, green finance, and private sector-cooperation. By working with the international community to promote sustainable development under BRI, this Partnership hopes to help China leverage and improve its leadership in global green governance.


Date and Time: Dec 02 – 14

Location: Katowice, Poland

Organizer: Belt and Road Green Development Partnership



Press Conference: Greening BRI for a sustainable future

Date and Time:Date and Time: 10:00-10:30, Dec 10

Duration: 30 minutes

Venue: Press conference room Katowice

Co-organizer:Greenpeace, Greenovation Hub


Press Conference: Policy Research and Case Analysis on the Renewable Energy Development of ASEAN Countries

Moderator: YANG Fuqiang, Senior Advisor, Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

Date and Time: 9:30-10:00, Dec 11

Duration: 30 minutes

Venue: Press conference room Katowice

Co-organizer: The Natural Resources Defense Council


Press Conference: Research on Integrated Resource Planning of Electric Power in BRI Countries

Date and Time:14:00-14:30,Dec13

Duration: 30 minutes

Venue: Press conference room Katowice

Co-organizer: The Natural Resources Defense Council


Side Event 1. Climate change actions and challenges based on terrestrial ecosystems and polar marine ecosystems

Date and Time: 16:45-18:15, Dec 05

Venue:Meeting Room Bieszczady

Co-organizer: China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF), Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), Global Village of Beijing (GVB)


Side Event 2. China-US Cooperation on Renewable Energy Planning & Implementation in China & South-South Countries

Date and time: 15:00-16:30, Dec07

Venue: Meeting RoomNarew

Co-organizer: Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. (CCS), Global Environmental Institute (GEI)


Side Event 3. Promoting green investment of the BRI through green finance in line with Paris Agreement

Date and time: 15:00-16:30, Dec12

Venue: Meeting RoomNarew

Co-organizer: Greenovation Hub(GHub), Rock Environment and Energy Institute (REEI) , All China Environment Federation (ACEF), Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET)


Side Event 4. Multiple Benefits Forest Carbon Trading Demonstrate the Theory of “Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets”

Date and Time: 13:00-15:00, Dec04

Venue: China Pavilion

Co-organizer: China Green Carbon Foundation, Tianjin Climate Exchange


Side Event 5. Practical Cases of Communication for Climate Change Action

Date and Time: 9:00-10:30, Dec13

Venue: DESA & GEIDCO Pavilion

Co-organizer: All-China Environment Federation, Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange


Side Event 6. Cooling Efficiency and China’s Global Climate Cooperation

Date and Time: 10:30-12:00, Dec13

Venue: DESA & GEIDCO Pavilion

Co-organizer: iGDP, GHub, TNC


Side Event 7. 100% Renewables Powering BRI

Date and Time: 18:00-19:30, Dec13

Venue:Panda Hub, WWF Pavilion

Co-organizer: WWF