Environmental considerations of the belt and road initiative

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter investigates the Belt and Road Initiative from the perspective of the environment, natural resources, ecology, biodiversity and climate change. It argues that banks, financing mechanisms and companies responsible for the projects undertaken along the economic corridors of the BRI are not mainstreaming environmental aspects into feasibility studies and project implementation. Rather, on the contrary, there appears to be a purposeful direction towards polluting projects impacting climate change and negating the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, natural resources, biodiversity and endangered species are at risk under the BRI. Assessment of environmental damage caused to forest areas resulting from increased road and rail accessibility provides a cautionary note to the possible impact of the BRI economic corridors. There is urgent need to reign in responsible organisations and nations in order to protect the planet as a whole. Proposals are made for a governing framework similar to that of EU Water Framework Directive allowing independent Strategic Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments for BRI economic corridors. However, complexities of sovereignty and independence of national government are acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Belt and Road Initiative
Subtitle of host publicationAn Old Archetype of a New Development Model
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9789811525643
ISBN (Print)9789811525636
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • BRI
  • Environment
  • Natural resources
  • Safeguard policies


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