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ClientEarth Communications

25th October 2023

Boosting the Global Energy Transition Through the Belt and Road Initiative

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), state leaders and international organisations came together in Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The BRI is an ambitious plan to develop two new trade routes connecting China with the rest of the world. Given the scale of the initiative and China’s rapid progress in renewable industries, it has the potential to be a major force in advancing the global energy transition.

Our president and founder, James Thornton, was invited to the attend the opening ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, where President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China delivered a keynote speech. President Xi announced that China vows more financing support for BRI projects.

James was then invited to speak on the greening of the BRI alongside distinguished guests such UN Secretary General Guterres, around eight heads of state, and vice president Han Zheng of China. James emphasised the significance of China’s decision to stop building coal overseas, and noted our role in recommending this policy, in cooperation with the BRI green development coalition. He also emphasised the tremendous opportunity of China working with other countries to accelerate the global energy transition and gave several specific recommendations to speed up and smooth that process. James advocated for the establishment of a facility for green project development and financing, and enhance environmental information disclosure and public participation throughout project life cycles.

Our work in advancing the China-Indonesia renewables cooperation was also featured during a bilateral meeting between President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia and President Xi.

ClientEarth had also proposed that China develop a special facility for financing of green investments, and this actually happened with the launch of the Green Investment and Financing Partnership (GIFP).

You can find more about our work on the BRI through this article published in China Daily, authored by James and Dimitri de Boer, ClientEarth’s Regional Director of Programmes for Asia. The article outlines the importance of the BRI in boosting climate action around the world and provided specific recommendations.

James was also interviewed by China Central Television, you can watch his interview here.

ClientEarth is proud to have supported the work that has led to a transformative greening of the BRI.