On April 1, 2020, BRI International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) held its First Coordination Meeting in 2020 in the form of webinar. Conveners of the Advisory Committee, including Erik Solheim, Advisor of World Resources Institute (WRI), Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Peter Bakker, President and CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), together with Zhou Guomei, Executive Director-General of Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center (FECO), Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) attended and addressed the Meeting. Dorjsuren Ariuntuya, Senior Officer of the Division of Climate Change and International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia, Nicolas Rosellini, UN Resident Coordinator in China, and James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth, attended the Meeting and gave leading remarks as Advisors of the BRIGC Advisory Committee. More than 110 representatives from 50 Chinese and international partners of BRIGC attended the webinar, including environmental authorities of BRI participating countries such as Iran, Italy and Singapore, inter-governmental organizations such as United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), research institutions such as World Resources Institute, Energy Foundation China (EF China), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and WWF, as well as related businesses.
Erik Solheim pointed out that countries around the world are engaged in the fight against COVID-19. Mitigating the economic impacts of the pandemic and promoting green development are of great significance in the current global context. Kate Hampton stressed the importance of combining measures in containing COVID-19 with actions in addressing environmental issues in the crucial year of 2020. She proposed that China should integrate green economy stimulus measures into its BRI projects. Peter Bakker suggested that BRIGC should accelerate development and transition through innovation and help BRI participating countries to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with green technology and innovation. Zhou Guomei sent the regards of co-chairs of BRIGC and expressed the hope for partners to strengthen cooperation and bring out the vitality and creativity of green BRI in the face of global challenges.
The Meeting heard the reports from the Secretariat and 10 thematic partnerships. Positive progress has been made in the development of champion countries, research programs and capacity building in spite of the postponement and cancellation of activities and events due to COVID-19. The Meeting also shared the progress and initial outputs of the Joint Research on Green Development Guidance for BRI Projects (The ‘Green Light System’), Issues Papers, and Special Reports.
Dorjsuren Ariuntuya commented that Mongolia is willing to closely cooperate with the Secretariat with regard to champion country, demo projects, and joint research, in an effort to build Mongolia into a model in green development among BRI participating countries. Nichola Rosellini stressed that international cooperation under the framework of BRIGC is of special importance in facilitating global efforts in controlling the pandemic and addressing climate change. James Thornton reaffirmed the significance of the Green Development Guidance on BRI Projects and other ongoing research programs to greening the Belt and Road.
Narges Saffar, Chief of the International Affairs & Conventions Center, Department of Environment, Iran, Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute, Narmandakh Luvsan, Senior Advisor of United Nations Environment Program, and other representatives of BRIGC partners shared their views in the free discussion session. They expressed their appreciation for the contribution of China in the fight against COVID-19 and proposed recommendations for the future development of green BRI and BRIGC. Attendees to the Meeting affirmed the achievements of BRIGC, proposed recommendations on the thematic partnerships, research programs, champion countries, and pilot projects, and expressed their expectation for BRIGC to expand its cooperation networks and international influence for better safeguarding the development of green Belt and Road.
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