Green BRI: reality or mirage | By Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

Green BRI: Reality or Mirage

The One Belt One Road (BRI) initiative is making a difference regionally and globally in terms of increased regional connectivity, socio-economic integration, infrastructure development, poverty eradication and job creation in all participating countries. It has become the global “engine” for economic stability and future “sustainability”.

In its eighth year, there is a lot of speculation and propaganda going on in the United States and the West about the strategic importance, utility, performance, productivity, and participatory focus of the BRI.

Many Western think tanks and media have called the BIS an extension of so-called Chinese economic domination, political imperialism and, finally, debt traps, etc., which is not true.

Unfortunately, the forces and supporters of “capitalism with intrinsic qualities of” economic coercion “,” market exploitation “,” political nationalism “and last but not least hegemonic strategic conceptions / conditions have devised a new book of” Das Capital ”to“ oppose ”and“ contain ”China through false and deceptive propaganda against the BIS. Now they are trying to create doubts about the BRI’s green directions and call it a mirage, not a reality.

On the other hand, the most recently released report of the Chinese State Council (September 2021) titled “Responding to Climate Change,” projects China’s achievements in pollution control, structural policies aimed at eliminating the production of gas. ‘coal-based energy and, therefore, to move away from coal, CO2 reductions and the construction of a “Belt and Road of South-South Cooperation” aimed specifically at tackling climate change and slowing down the Global warming. Hopefully, China’s strong commitment and fierce spirit for a greener and more sustainable BRI will help address the global challenges of climate change.

According to the report, China is also planning to create a Belt and Road Energy Partnership (BREP). He said China is working with affected countries to facilitate actions on “ecological conservation” and climate change. The Green BRI is therefore a reality and not a mirage. In addition, many of the original BRI projects have already been turned into greening which will all fall under the sustainability principles enshrined in the 2021 Green Development Partnership.

The said report argues that in 2021, China and 28 other countries launched the Belt and Road Partnership Initiative for Green Development, which clearly reflected that climate change could be managed through concrete actions guided by the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities. , weighted by different national circumstances.

Interestingly, the full report was released just days before the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, indicating China’s sincere efforts to reduce emissions and gradually move away from coal by using sustainable technology throughout. , from urban planning to the protection of biodiversity.

In this context, China is instrumental in its holistic approach to global climate governance by building a Green Silk Road. It promotes green development and works with relevant partners to build a Green Silk Road. It values ​​an active response to the challenges of climate change and calls for closer results-oriented cooperation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and in other areas.

According to this report, China’s green loan balance was 11.950 billion RMB ($ 1.9 trillion), of which the clean energy loan balance was 3.200 billion RMB ($ 500 billion). ) as of December 31, 2020.

China has issued a total of approximately RMB 1.2 trillion ($ 188 billion) in green bonds, with an outstanding amount of approximately RMB 800 billion ($ 125 billion), making it the world’s second largest market. green bonds, which clearly illustrates its firm commitment to the Green BRI in the days to come.

The new Chinese guidelines are soft laws that have already sent a clear signal to all major stakeholders, policy makers and financial institutes like the China Development Bank, the China Export-Import Bank and Sinosure, the Chinese insurance agency. -export credit, to invest in green BRI projects. This policy gives a boost to their efforts to go green and helps set their expectations that more stringent measures are likely to follow.

In addition, China’s carbon intensity in 2020 was 18.8% lower than in 2015, a better result than the binding target set in the 13th five-year plan (2016-2020). This figure was also 48.4% lower than in 2005, meaning that China more than fulfilled its commitment to the international community to achieve a 40-45% reduction in carbon intensity from the level. from 2005 to 2020.

Non-fossil energy contributed 15.9% to China’s total energy consumption in 2020, a significant increase of 8.5 percentage points from 2005.

The total installed capacity of power generation from non-fossil fuels in China has reached 980 million kW, or 44.7% of the total installed capacity, according to the report.

Of this total, wind represented 280 million kW, PV 250 million kW, hydropower 370 million kW, biomass 29.52 million kW and nuclear power 49.89 million kW. Electricity produced by non-fossil energy accounted for more than a third of the country’s electricity consumption.

The Council of State report shares that climate change is a challenge for all humanity. The sustainable development of the Chinese nation and the future of the planet depend on its success.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping unveiled the BIS. Some 165 countries and 32 international organizations, including 19 United Nations agencies, have since signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China.

China now pursues a philosophy that development must be innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared, and accelerate the pace of creating a new development dynamic.

More recently, the “Green Development Guidelines for Foreign Investment and Cooperation,” jointly issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), help Chinese enterprises to mainstream green development throughout the overseas investment process. They also both suggest that companies should follow international green rules and standards.

Thus, they represent a phasing out of coal production that could pave the way for the implementation of much higher standards in infrastructure projects under the BRI.

The guidelines call for increased engagement with host country environmental organizations. They also cite non-fossil energy technologies as key areas for investment. So the Green BRI is a reality and not a mirage as the United States and the West have called it.

The guidelines are comprehensive and cover climate, biodiversity and pollution. More specifically, they urge to promote the “concept of green development” throughout the process of foreign direct investment and cooperation.

They encourage the practice of environmental impact assessments and due diligence in accordance with internationally accepted standards.

They are ready to apply high standards during the planning and design phase of infrastructure projects and to strengthen contacts with host country governments, media, local people and environmental protection organizations and lastly, support investments in solar, wind, nuclear and biomass energy. and other forms of clean energy.

To conclude, there is an urgent need to even rectify the imbalance of the energy production mechanism in the CPEC as well. More investments should be made in green energy projects, especially in hydropower, wind, solar and biomass.

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