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BRI Newsletter Sept. 9. 2021

Recently, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment jointly issued the “Green development guidelines for overseas investment and cooperation”. These guidelines aim to motivate Chinese businesses to make green development a part of their foreign investment and foreign cooperation. The new guidelines go beyond previous practices and include climate, biodiversity, and pollution. If these new guidelines are implemented by Chinese businesses, they could greatly improve green standards in the Belt and Road Initiative. One instruction in the new guidelines will stand out to anyone who has read about the BRI and environmental practices before. The guidelines state that businesses should not only adhere to local environmental standards, but instead, when those are insufficient, they should “follow international green rules and standards”. Until now, adhering to local environmental laws was always considered doing enough in terms of greening BRI projects. This was a problem because many countries that take part in the BRI do not have very high environmental standards or strict rules. If Chinese businesses investing abroad will in the future adhere to international green standards, then environmental conditions could improve in many places. Provided by Vera Kranenburg from Clingendael Institute

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