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BRI Green Development Case Study Report (2020)

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) focuses on both economic prosperity and green development. In building BRI, China has always adhered to the green development concepts, promoted the green and low-carbon infrastructure building and management, highlighted the ideas of ecological civilization in investment and trade, and strengthened the cooperation in domains such as ecological environment governance, biodiversity conservation, and the fight against climate change.

Since 2013, the Chinese government has successively issued a series of policies, including the Guidelines on Environment Protection in Foreign Investment and Cooperation, Guidance on Promoting Green Belt and Road, and the Belt and Road Ecological and Environmental Cooperation Plan, which provided guidance for businesses to actively fulfill their social responsibilities in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.

At the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, President Xi stated, “We should pursue green development and a new way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable. Efforts should be made to strengthen cooperation in ecological and environmental protection and build ecological civilization to realize the SDGs at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.”

At the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April 2019, President Xi said, “We need to pursue open, green, and clean cooperation. The Belt and Road aims to promote green development. We may launch green infrastructure projects, make green investment and provide green financing to protect the Earth we all call home.”

BRI and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are highly compatible, complementary, and synergistic in their concepts, principles, and goals. The connectivity in policies, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people proposed by BRI highly corresponds with the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This report, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, showcases 13 projects covering eight fields, namely, biodiversity and ecosystem, clean energy, clean water, sustainable transportation, solid waste treatment, sustainable consumption and production, green buildings, and corporate social responsibility. These projects were initiated by different parties, some have been invested and constructed by Chinese businesses, some by host countries and contracted to Chinese businesses, and others by Chinese businesses and businesses from other countries to jointly develop third-party markets. More importantly, the successful implementation of these projects has made great contributions to the socio-economic development in the countries where the projects are launched.

The Cabinda water supply project in Angola will provide access to water for 95% of the residential areas in Cabinda, directly benefiting more than 600,000 people. In some villages in Cabinda, it is the first time that the villagers could ever access drinking water. It was BRI that realized what they had dreamed of for years. The Peljesac Cross-sea Bridge of Croatia, a project that Croatian people have been looking forward to for many years, will connect the southernmost region with the north of Croatia upon completion and allow the residents to drive from south through north within a few minutes, cutting a two to three hour journey on foot to a drive of a few minutes. The Can Tho Waste-to-Energy Plant in Vietnam not only solves the problem resulting from domestic waste stacking in the open air, but also brings China’s most advanced technology of electricity generation from waste incineration, facilitating the exchanges and transfer of environmental technologies.

Aiming at achieving green development, these projects, in their implementation, adhere to the concept of ecological civilization, combine China’s strict environmental protection systems and international standards, and take various measures on environmental protection based on the conditions of the local environment. With joint efforts of local governments, businesses, and communities, these projects have yielded good results thanks to the optimization of design and construction plans, strict control over different types of pollutants, and local protection of species and ecosystems.

The Biodiversity Management Plan was formulated prior to the construction of the Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan, and the project asked fish and fishery experts to conduct research on the fish species in the channel segments of concerned areas, so as to map out strict measures for fish protection based on the results. Moreover, the New Container Terminal Project of Tema in Ghana has built a sea turtle hatchery. Through cooperation with the Ghana Wildlife Society, the hatchery hires experts specialized in sea turtle hatching to provide guidance and establishes professional sea turtle conservation patrols. By 2019, a total of 11,114 baby sea turtles had been hatched and released into the ocean.

The Chinese businesses translated the concepts of ecological civilization and green development into concrete actions in BRI building. China will continuously advance the high-quality development of BRI, proactively build a “Green Belt & Road” with partner countries, achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in joint efforts, and thus contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

This report is organized and prepared by the BRIGC Secretariat.

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