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At the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in 2019, the UK-China Green Finance Taskforce announced the formation of the Secretariat for the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road (GIP), and the first list of signatories. Today, the GIP signatories stands at 39, whose overall assets mount to over USD48 trillion worldwide.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) covers more than 70 countries and is the largest ever infrastructure programme with total projected investments of USD8 trillion until 2049; current annual investment is around USD150 billion.
The scale of the Belt and Road, and its environmental footprint, ensure these projects play a decisive role in global ambitions of a below 2° future. It is imperative that we green the Belt and Road. The GIP is an important step in encouraging environmentally responsible investment and financing for projects within the Belt and Road region.
Finance plays a key role in the future of the Belt and Road – green finance must be factored into all Belt and Road projects. This will serve to minimise the risk of stranded assets and aborted projects, maximise financial efficiency and secure our environment’s future.
Financing the BRI requires the participation of both public and private investors. Embedding the principles of sustainable development across all asset classes, financial products, project phases and participating institutions is critical for the shared interest of project developers, sponsors, investors, and host communities.
The City of London Green Finance Initiative and the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking have jointly taken the lead to develop this set of Green Investment Principles, with participation by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, Sustainable Banking Network, Belt & Road Bankers’ Roundtable, Green Belt and Road Investors Alliance, World Economic Forum, and the Paulson Institute.
Further details on the GIP can be found here.
The GIP benefits from a dual-office Secretariat between Beijing and London – harnessing strategy and financing networks in China, the UK and across the Belt and Road region.
The goal of the GIP is to encourage and assist signatories better integrating environmental considerations into decision-making and implementation process of their investments in the region.
We encourage financial firms with an interest in the Belt and Road region to consider becoming signatories to the GIP. Periodically, we will post signatory support material on this page, including capacity building, case studies of best practice and implementation support.
Green BRI Data and Analysis Platform
In 2018, University of Oxford launched the Green BRI Data and Analysis Platform, which is managed by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. The platform helps governments, financial institutions, and civil society bodies share and use data on BRI projects, particularly in relation to their environmental impact and the risk of stranded assets. Information and analysis is provided through an online data and analysis platform that brings together existing and novel datasets to offering new capabilities for understanding the environmental risks BRI projects face, allowing Chinese companies, policymakers and investors to minimise risks and maximise the societal benefits offered by the BRI.
In April 2019 at the 2nd Belt & Road Forum hosted in Beijing by President Xi Jinping, the University of Oxford was invited to become part of the International Coalition for Greening the Belt & Road. Through this Oxford will provide world-leading research and expertise to help green BRI.
Green Project Database
The Green Project Database aims to create a platform to facilitate and promote green investments, reducing search cost and the cost of financing, improving commercial viability of green projects in developing countries, including along the Belt and Road, and ultimately achieving green, low-carbon and sustainable development in the region. The Database is connected to the Climate and Environment Risk Assessment Toolbox (CERAT), which is aimed to quantify the environmental risks and benefits of investment projects, improve transparency, and demonstrate responsibility.
The finance providers of the green projects in the Database are mainly GIP member institutions, including all major banks based in China and other international financial institutions, who are also the mainstream financers of BRI investment and can provide various debt and equity financing services. Refinitiv, one of GIP’s supporting institutions, provided technical support to the development of the Database.