China to continue belt and road cooperation and spur green projects

Out-Law News | 25 Apr 2021 | 2:45 am | 1 min. read

China will continue belt and road cooperation with other parties, according to Chinese president Xi Jinping, speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia conference.

Xi said China will build closer partnerships on infrastructure, rules and standards. China will build a closer partnership for green development and encourage cooperation on green infrastructure, green energy and green finance, he said.

He also called for improving the Belt and Road Initiatives International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC), the Green Investment Principles (GIP) for the BRI and other multilateral cooperation platforms "to make green a defining feature of belt and road cooperation."

Qian Keming, China's vice minister of commerce, said China will focus on promoting green and low-carbon energy in markets along the belt and road and developing renewable energies such as gas, solar, wind power, hydropower and nuclear power. China will also introduce rules to promote sustainability in developing countries through the belt and road initiative (BRI).

John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The BRI in relation to energy and infrastructure was historically very much focused on coal fired power projects. The project that is generally recognized as the first project financed BRI investment is in fact a coal fired power project in Pakistan, and over the past few years we have seen significant activities in coal power projects in areas such as Africa but also elsewhere globally. All things being equal, coal delivers the lowest cost of energy, and developing nations need to deliver power to their people at the least cost possible.”

“However, we are seeing several nations that have historically looked to coal for new base load power generation pivoting away from coal. Commitments given under the Paris Agreement require nations globally to assess their energy policies. In response, we can see China is also realigning its international cooperation strategy to embrace green energy and infrastructure investments. In this respect, China has much to offer, ranging from its solar panel industry through to wind turbines. For instance, China will this year overtake the United Kingdom by having the largest number of installed offshore wind capacity. China is of course also having a leading nuclear power generation industry,” he said.