Guidance on green investment is one of the most effective ways of promoting the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the context of the global challenge of climate change, experts said Monday at a meeting.
The BRI International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC), World Resources Institute, Client Earth and World Wide Fund for Nature co-hosted the Roundtable on Green Development Guidance for BRI Projects and International Seminar on Green Investment and Finance in the Context of Carbon Neutrality in Beijing.
Participants shared policies and standards related to green investment and finance in different countries against the background of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, and discussed how to make good use of green finance to boost the development of a Green Silk Road and foster the consensus and synergy of BRI green development.
The year 2021 is a crucial one for the international community in dealing with climate change, and an important year for promoting the construction of a Green Silk Road, Guo Jing, director general of the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (MEE), said at the roundtable meeting.
It is important to build a closer green development partnership between BRIGC and other Chinese and international partners, Guo noted.
Zhou Guomei, director general of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center of the MEE, said that green and low-carbon transition has become a key issue related to BRI countries’ ability to jointly meet the challenges of climate change.
Guidance on green investment is one of the most effective ways for promoting the green and low-carbon development of the BRI, according to Zhou.
Participants also discussed the framework of the Guidance Project Phase II at the meeting. Practical demands and suggestions from stakeholders such as financial institutions and enterprises were collected, with a focus on improving eco-environmental management of overseas investment projects.
BRIGC launched the Joint Research on Green Development Guidance for BRI Projects (the Guidance Project) in December, 2019 and released the Phase I baseline study report in December, 2020. Continuing this effort, current Phase II research of the Guidance Project aims to develop a set of application guidelines for green development of BRI projects for financial institutions, enterprises and BRI participating countries’ agencies.
Major economies such as China, the US and the EU have taken a series of actions in the fields of energy transition and green finance. In this context, it is of practical significance to continue promoting the Guidance Project study, Erik Solheim, convener of the BRIGC Advisory Committee and Senior Advisor of WRI, said at the meeting.
China’s commitment to carbon peaking and neutrality as well as its goal of strictly controlling the growth of coal consumption during the 14th Five-Year Plan period are green signals to the whole world, which will make important contributions to realizing climate goals, said Kate Hampton, convener of the BRIGC Advisory Committee and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
The Guidance Project will set up green guidelines on standards and actions for China’s overseas investment related to the BRI, ensuring green investment and firm support for more countries to achieve post-pandemic green recovery, Hampton said.