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Christoph Nedopil Wang

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Dr. Christoph Nedopil Wang is the Director of the Green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Senior Research Fellow at the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE).

For the Chinese version, click here. Introduction Greening urban transport is paramount to achieving global climate targets. With urban population increasing by 2.5 billion people, particularly in many countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), much hope is put on green mobility technologies and innovation. Their application depends on the availability of investments and smart policies. In this summary of a research project financed by the EC-Link project of the European Union, three urban transport scenarios for the year 2033 are presented. They are designed to help understand possible development paths, financing needs and climate impacts. The full report will be published by the European Union in early 2020. Urban transport developments in the Belt and Road Initiative The BRI aims to increase economic activity by improving connectivity of economic areas through infrastructure investment. Since 2013, Chinese investors have financed about 194 billion USD on transport related projects in…

Natural ecosystems have declined by 47% compared to their earliest estimated state, 25% of species are already threatened with extinction, the biomass of wild animals has decreased by 82%. The losses to biodiversity and its consequences on both economies and our Earth’s well-being are becoming more evident, while the world is struggling for to develop the post-2020 biodiversity protection framework at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP) in Kunming in October 2020. Progress for biodiversity protection is even more difficult than protecting climate. In this article, I propose four axioms, to help move ahead in biodiversity protection in the Belt and Road Initiative and more broadly. Human activities risking biodiversity and pushing the planetary boundaries Biodiveristy is threatened due to a number of human activities, such as construction of infrastructure cutting into natural habitat, use of fertilizers in agriculture and similarly wastewater from human activities…

Green finance in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that deals with climate change by mitigation or adaptation has received much attention over the past months. A topic that is gaining momentum for a “green Belt and Road Initiative” is green finance for biodiversity – or biofin. Three reasons drive this development: China will host the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) next year (tentatively from October 5 to 10, 2020 in Kunming), hoping to agree on a post-2020 framework for biodiversity conservationBiodiversity losses continue to accelerate with currently 1 million of 8 million known species under immediate threat Chinese Investments in the Belt and Road Initiative have a major impact on biodiversity loss and biodiversity protection Although biodiversity protection has a long history (the first CDB COP took place at the end of 1994 in the Bahamas), progress on biodiversity protection has been…

For a Chinese version, click here. On July 26, 2019, Kenya’s National Environmental tribunal ruled that the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) license for the Lamu coal fired power plant in Kenya was insufficient and that the construction had to be stopped. While this ruling explicitly states that this is not a legal case against coal-fired power plants, it nevertheless comes after 3 years of intense campaigning against what would be Kenya’s first coal-fired power plant: local NGOs and stakeholder groups organized under the deCOALonize umbrella and brought the legal case against the power plant’s consortium and the Kenyan government agency that issued the ESIA license in the first place. The Lamu 2 billion USD coal-fired power plant is built by Chinese enterprises, particularly two subsidiaries of PowerChina Group (Sichuan Electric Power and Design and Consulting, Sichuan No.3 Power Construction Company) and China Huadian Corporation Power Operation Company and…

The original article was published in Chinese by the International Institute of Finance (IIGF) here. Passenger car sales in China have been declining over the past 12 months and experts expect “only” 22 million car sales in China in 2019. This is good news – but not good enough. Car sales in China could drop by 75% to about five million cars per year. This would provide people with better mobility, better lives and achieve the Chinese goal of achieving an ecological civilization and sustainable development that includes economic development. In this article, I will lay out the arguments of how China should seize the opportunity to become the leader in sustainable passenger mobility development through its innovation power in the mobility ecosystem and how green finance can accelerate this development. Sending the wrong signals – 600 million cars by 2050? According to official statistics by the NDRC, China aims…

“He is my best and bosom friend. I cherish dearly our deep friendship”, said Chinese President Xi on about Russian President Vladimir Putin after China and Russia agreed to upgrade their relations to a “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era” during the Annual St. Petersburg International Forum from June 6-8. Country Overview Russia with its capital Moscow is the largest country on earth with 17 million sq km and a population of 143 million (China, in comparison, covers about 9.6 million sq km and has 1.4 billion people). Since 2000, Vladimir Putin has been Russia’s dominant political figure (serving two terms as president, then four years as prime minister in 2008 to become president again in 2012). Russia’s economy is the 12th largest in the world. Russia’s exports depend 80% on oil, natural gas, metals and timber. The economy is forecast to grow by about 1-2% in…

On May 20, 2019, the Ministry of Transport and 12 other ministries jointly issued the Green Travel Action Plan (2019-2022), which will further promote the large-scale application of green vehicles and accelerate the construction of charging infrastructure. China will also continue to improve public transportation facilities, connectivity and information systems that are supporting green mobility. China has been a role model in providing public transport services for its population for many years. Compared with countries of a similar development state, and even compared to most countries with a higher GDP per capita, China has a higher density of modern public transportation services for both urban public transportation services and inter-city public transportation services. Most notably are three developments in China that contributed to that achievement: Development and construction of High-speed trainsDevelopment and construction of subway systemsDevelopment and deployment of electric buses This article will look at China’s green public transportation…

On the surface, the global community agrees: We need sustainable development – for the benefit of all. However, in practice, the devil lies in the details – and in different priorities of nations and organizations in trying to achieve the triple bottom line: economic growth, social development, and ecological protection. Over the last 2 weeks, I was invited to contribute to three conferences in China on financing sustainable innovation. During these conferences, I experienced once again how Chinese and European colleagues agree on the surface about the need for sustainable development, but not in practice on the actions to take. These differences reflect the divergent needs and views of different nations, as well as the complexity of sustainability across the world. But with billions (RMB, EUR, USD, Yen,…) invested in the name of sustainable development, for example in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), I believe that these differences…

Leading up to the 2nd Belt and Road Forum from April 24-26 in Beijing, various working groups, think tanks and government agencies published accounts of the past achievements and challenges of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). One of these accounts was given by the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (the BRF Advisory Council) in their report “Belt and Road Cooperation: For a Better World”. This article analyzes on the report’s suggestions in regards to green finance and explains some possible backgrounds of the suggestions. This should help to improve the understanding of challenges and thus the successful acceleration of the Belt and Road Initiative. Background and Overview of BRI improvement suggestions by the BRF Advisory Council Since the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, more than 100 countries have signed instruments of cooperation with China to promote the Belt and…

This is an extended version of the China Daily’s article from April 26. In 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Environment together with 4 other ministries released the “Guidance on Promoting Green Belt and Road”. Realizing this ambition requires green finance – the full range of financial services that support the transformation to an environmentally and climate-friendly economy. Green Finance in China has seen a strong development based on the “Guidelines for Establishing the Green Financial System” published by The People’s Bank of China and six other government agencies in 2016. In 2018, the Chinese green bond market became the second largest in the world after the United States with issuances of USD30 billion. Scaling and accelerating these experiences to greening the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a long-term, but achievable goal. Failing to green the BRI would have potentially catastrophic climate impacts around the World. Using green finance to…