China works with the UK to green the Belt and Road Initiative


The Green Finance Committee (GFC) of China Society for Finance and Banking, in partnership with the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative (GFI), published a set of principles on green investments for the Belt and Road (B&R) on November 30, 2018 in London.

Building on existing responsible investment initiatives and set to be published in seven languages, the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road aim to incorporate low-carbon and sustainable development into the Belt and Road Initiative by encouraging financial institutions and corporates involved and invested in B&R projects to sign up to a voluntary code of practice.

The announcement was made in London at the 3rd meeting of the UK-China Green Finance Taskforce, chaired by Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of the GFC and who sits on the People’s Bank of China Monetary Policy Committee and Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the GFI.

The Principles, a project first proposed in the 9th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), were drafted by a group of organisations led by the GFC and the GFI, including the Belt & Road Bankers Roundtable, Green Belt and Road Investor Alliance, International Finance Corporation, PRI, Paulson Institute and World Economic Forum. A full text in Chinese and English of the Principles is provided at the bottom of this release.

The Principles consolidate seven principles at three different levels: strategy, operations, and innovation. It calls for top-down implementation of the incorporated strategy, communication among stakeholders, and utilization of green financial instruments and green supply chain practices, as well as knowledge sharing and capacity building.

A perspective Secretariat for the Principles will be established, to expand membership, review and report progress, and develop guidance and operational tools. Trainings will also be provided to facilitate the adoption and implementation of the principles.

Dr Ma Jun, Chairman of the Green Finance Committee said:

“The world is facing serious environmental and climate challenges. Most of the world’s infrastructure investments in the coming decades will be in B&R countries, and these projects will have a significant impact on environment and climate.

“The Green Investment Principles for the Belt & Road aim to ensure that environmental consciousness, climate resilience, and social inclusiveness are built into new investment projects in the B&R, so that the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement are met.”

Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the Green Finance Initiative said:

“The UK and China are pioneers in green finance, and the announcements today show again why we are truly leaders in this field.

“I’m particularly excited by the Green Investment Principles, a potential game-changer in mitigating the potential environmental impact of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Dominic Waughray, Head of Centre for Global Public Goods, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum said:

“The Belt and Road Initiative offers a new sustainable development paradigm that connects countries through infrastructure, trade and shared growth opportunities. Developing and implementing green investment principles is critical to ensuring investment flows into new infrastructure can support growth and development in line with delivering win-win benefits for people, ecosystems and the economy.”

Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) noted:

“The ambitious Belt and Road Initiative to develop infrastructure linking China to countries along the ancient Silk Road trade route is likely to generate a swath of ESG-compliant projects, with green bond and loan funding crucial to generating capital from international investors to finance the initiative.”

“The Principles are a welcome development, which complement the PRI’s six principles. Having these in place will be very helpful for investors who might be considering investing in these projects.”

The meeting of the China-UK Green Finance Taskforce, the third since establishment in December 2017, culminated in a progress report and recommendations and the Progress of Pilot Work of UK-China Climate and Environmental Information Disclosure in 2018.

For more information contact:


International Coordinator, China Green Finance Committee

Tel: +86 (10) 8302 1702

Sherry Madera

Special Adviser for Asia, City of London

Tel: +44 (0)7834 341 830

Read the full report in the PDF

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