Joint efforts of China, BRI countries to build green Silk Road aligned with world’s objective for sustainable development: representatives
Construction of a green Silk Road will help meet the demand for sustainable economic and social development in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) routes in the post-pandemic era, officials and experts said Tuesday at an industry forum.
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Global Institute (CGI) of China International Capital Corp (CICC) and the BRI International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) co-hosted on Tuesday the Belt and Road Forum on Green Finance and Low-carbon Development in Beijing.
Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of the MEE and convener of the BRIGC Advisory Committee, said at the forum that the transition to a green, low-carbon development pattern will be the “only way” to achieve sustainable development and the “optimal solution” to bring about the green recovery of the world economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.
“China unswervingly follows a green, low-carbon and high-quality development path that prioritizes ecological conservation, and the country has been working diligently to fulfil its responsibilities in the international community,” Zhao said, noting that the joint efforts of China and relevant parties to build a green Silk Road are based on and aligned with the world’s objective for sustainable development.
Zhao said that China is determined to contribute its wisdom and strengths to global development, and expressed his high hopes for progress in the construction of a green BRI based on closer green partnerships, substantial cooperation achievements and effective implementation of green investment concepts.
Shen Rujun, Chairman of CICC, said discussions on the prospects and pathways of creating synergies between green finance and low-carbon development will produce valuable suggestions and proposals for the high-quality development of the BRI in a changed world, underpinning solid, steady and substantial progress in the construction of a green Silk Road.
The chairman said that CICC is keen to collaborate with all relevant parties to support green and low-carbon development of the BRI, as the company has been committed, since its inception, to providing services and support for China’s economic system reform and capital market development.
At the forum, CICC rolled out the 2021 edition of its White Paper on BRI Research, an annual publication that the company has been issuing every year since 2018.
Wu Huimin, Managing Director of CGI and Head of CGI BRI Research Center, said that countries participating in the BRI collectively account for about 30 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, and their carbon emissions may continue to rise along with industrialization and urbanization.
Based on BRI-participating countries’ latest targets on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and data on investment, electricity generation and installed capacity, CICC Global Institute’s bottom-up assessment indicates that the total amount of green investment in these countries may reach $5.7 trillion over the next 10 years, of which $2.5 trillion could be invested in renewable energies, according to Wu.
“Looking ahead, we believe that construction of the green Silk Road should focus on two key issues: the first is the formulation of a systematic program to align the objectives of the green Silk Road with China’s targets for carbon emissions peaks, carbon neutrality and development of the ‘ecological civilization’; the second is the alignment of BRI project cooperation and construction with the NDCs of BRI-participating countries, so as to better support the green and low-carbon development of the BRI,” Wu said.
Zhou Guomei, deputy secretary-general of BRIGC and Director-General of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center of the MEE, emphasized that construction of the green Silk Road will help meet the demand for sustainable economic and social development in BRI-participating countries, and is highly consistent with and mutually complementary to the concepts, principles, and goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Since 2018, BRIGC has been working on a series of studies on the “Green Belt and Road Initiative and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which proposed clear principles, targets and roadmaps for BRI green development.
Zhou noted that green investment and financing should fully play their critical roles to support and ensure the green development of the BRI. Information-based tools should be developed for the screening and assessment of environmental risks in BRI investment projects.
Other keynote speakers at the Forum include Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, Andrew Steer, BRIGC co-chair and president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, and Guo Jing, director general of the Department of International Cooperation at the MEE.