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2 Dec 2020

Christian Shepherd, Financial Times (UK)

China: New study backed by China’s environmental ministry proposes negative list to discourage environmentally harmful investments

“Belt and Road pollution blacklist discourages fossil fuel investments”, 1 December 2020

A study backed by China’s environmental ministry has called for polluting Belt and Road projects to be placed on a negative list to encourage the country’s banks to avoid coal and other environmentally harmful investments along the route.

Under the proposal, drawn up by an international coalition of non-governmental organisations launched by China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology last year, projects will be classified based on their pollution, climate and biodiversity impacts. [...]

The report, released on Tuesday, recommends a three-tiered system, with most coal-fired power, hydropower, petrochemical, and mining and metal smelting plants being classed as “red” projects that require strict regulation.

Infrastructure with a neutral or manageable impact on the environment, such as freight transportation, would be classed as “yellow”. Wind, solar and other renewable energy investments would be “green” and financial institutions would be encouraged to invest in them. [...]

The study paves the way not only for a ban on coal investments but also for China to establish stricter and broader standards for disclosure, environmental impact assessments and engagement with local communities, Dimitri de Boer, head of the China office for ClientEarth, an environmental law group, said. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China: Study by China’s environmental ministry proposes negative list to discourage environmentally harmful investments

China’s 2060 carbon neutrality pledge