Journal Article - Environmental Politics

The Role of International Engagement in Greening China’s Belt and Road Initiative

| June 23, 2023


As China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has emerged as the largest public financier for energy infrastructure projects worldwide, concerns about the environmental and climate impacts of such projects have led to mounting international pressure on the Chinese government to ‘green’ its investment practices. This paper examines the understudied role of international engagement, and of specific international actors, in greening China’s BRI. We propose two discrete models of engagement which serve as a means of understanding the role that international actors have played in greening China’s BRI: (1) through direct engagement that influences individual project outcomes; and (2) through indirect engagement that shapes China’s broader policies and investment practices. We also identify factors that have constrained the role of international influence, including the absence of an influential Chinese international development agency. Finally, we propose opportunities for international engagement with China regarding its overseas investment practices.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Gong, Weila and Joanna Lewis. The Role of International Engagement in Greening China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” Environmental Politics, (June 23, 2023) .

The Authors