The successful implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals will be impossible if the huge amount of capital invested through the Belt and Road Initiative (‘BRI’) or ‘One Belt, One Road’ is inconsistent with climate change and sustainable development. ‘Greening’ BRI is therefore a priority of global significance.

Greening BRI requires us to understand the i) impacts that current and planned BRI projects will have on the local and global environment, as well as on sustainable development and ii) the stranded asset risks current and planned BRI projects face from different physical and transition risks related to environmental change, particularly climate change. This information and analysis can then inform decision-making by governments, private and public financial institutions, financial regulators, companies, and civil society.

The ‘Green BRI Platform’ will provide this information and analysis via a new collaborative online data and analysis platform. This will allow a range of different groups, including governments, researchers, financial institutions, and civil society to share and use data on BRI. By bringing together existing and novel datasets the project will provide unparalleled capabilities for understanding potential environmental risks and environmental impacts facing BRI projects, so that financial institutions, companies, and policymakers in China and around the world can minimise risks and maximise societal benefits with accurate information.

The project consists of several interlocking elements:
  1. Developing and operating an online platform that allows different users to access asset-level data and analysis for the BRI sectors and jurisdictions in scope
  2. Creating and managing asset-level datasets for all sectors in scope
  3. Pioneering new data capture and data processing methods to increase scope and quality of asset-level data
  4. Incorporating and developing sophisticated current and future measures of risks and impacts
  5. Linking measures identified to relevant scenarios globally, regionally or at a country-level (e.g. NDCs)
  6. Integrating models and datasets developed or operated by third parties that would enhance the platform
  7. Undertaking capacity building to ensure multiple users are familiar with the platform and can use it
  8. Managing a process to ratchet up the capabilities of the platform over time

The Green BRI Platform is intentionally designed to allow different asset-level datasets, measures, projections, and scenarios from a range of actors to be used consistently and to ‘speak’ to one another. The project is a vehicle to enhance collaboration between different groups working on different parts of the problem and creates a transparent distribution channel for these efforts. It is not intended to be or will ever become a ‘closed shop’ and is intended to be a common resource.

The Green BRI Platform is managed by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.