BRI remains attractive as decarbonization push attracts attention
China’s recent announcement on strengthening support to other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy and not building new overseas coal-fired power projects makes the initiative “the Belt and Road “more attractive, experts said.
by Xinhua writer Liu Yanan
NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) – The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to be viewed as a development opportunity, especially for developing countries, as global efforts to decarbonize and their ramifications are concentrated before the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
China’s recent announcement on stepping up support to other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy and not building new overseas coal-fired power projects makes the BRI more attractive, experts said.
The BRI remains attractive to the majority of countries around the world as it addresses development needs overlooked by other institutions or initiatives, experts said.
“The BRI remains the most ambitious development initiative inspired by a major 21st century economy,” said Vasilis Trigkas, postdoctoral fellow at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University.
China’s pledge not to build new overseas coal-fired power projects makes the BRI “cleaner and greener,” Triggas told Xinhua on Thursday.
“China offers the most successful model of poverty eradication in human history. It has shown the world that infrastructure-driven development works, ”said John Pang, senior researcher at Bard College in New York.
This announcement on coal-fired power projects suggests that the BRI can be anchored in a viable model of public leadership, finance and economic growth, Pang said.
Citing data from the World Health Organization, Pang noted that “a third of the world’s population still lacks clean drinking water in the 21st century,” testifying to the inadequacy of the current development model. led by existing financial institutions such as the World Bank. (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The BRI remains attractive to developing countries as it is the path defined by the science education of the workforce, the transfer of advanced energy-intensive technologies and integration into a modern high-consumption system. energy per capita, said Richard A. Black, Representative of the Schiller Institute to the United Nations.
“The BRI is already a crisp white pearl in the middle of a drab sandy shore,” said Black, expressing high expectations for the initiative.
China offers an alternative, which reconnects “underdeveloped” parts of the world with each other for common development, said Pang, who believes the BRI can help return a multipolar world marked by true globalization.
FIGHTING ENERGY POVERTY
A more balanced approach was advocated because decarbonization to the detriment of development raises deep concerns and volatility in the markets.
China’s Global Development Initiative calling for “a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth” and to remain committed to development as a priority is the most important and revolutionary proposal of the General Assembly of Nations United which just ended, Black said.
Climate change and energy poverty are two sides of the same coin, which must be addressed by the global community, said Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“We are facing energy poverty in the vast countries of the developing world” and what is happening in Britain and in many parts of Europe is what many people around the world are experiencing day in and day out, said Barkindo in an online chat on Monday.
All sources of energy will be needed for the foreseeable future and what is needed is the deployment of appropriate technologies backed by appropriate policy measures, he added.
It is high time that the political leaders of the rich West tell the truth, admitting that “today we cannot have a 100% renewable energy system because you cannot store renewable energy”, he said. said Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum. , headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.
Jafar warned that trying to stop investment in the oil and gas industry would be dangerous and people would end up turning to dirtier and cheaper fuels like coal, even in Europe.
Underinvestment in the oil and gas industry is the driving factor behind the current spiral in fuel prices in Europe, with the shift from gas to coal and, to a lesser extent, Asia shifting from gas to oil, said Shirley Zhang, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie.
Suppliers, traders and investors have all become extremely cautious when reacting to prices due to increasing pressures from environmental, social and governance pressures, Zhang told Xinhua.
Zhang said that since coal remains the cheapest reliable fuel in most Asia-Pacific countries until the end of the decade, canceling the project or stopping potential funding would certainly increase the cost of energy and supply chain risk in key manufacturing bases such as Vietnam.
LINK OF PRIORITIES
Right now, policymakers in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia see low-carbon priorities as a cost on top of that already unaffordable figure, according to Pang, a senior researcher at the Rajatatnam School of International Studies from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. .
“This seemingly impossible situation can only be reversed if green development becomes cheaper and they get richer. at the same time, the region must continue to grow, ”Pang said.
“The link between these priorities is going to be building the Belt and Road connectivity with each other and with their biggest trading partner. This is its infrastructure-related growth multiplier,” Pang said.
China has dramatically reduced the cost of solar and wind power, high-speed rail and telecommunications, and demonstrated the snowballing effects of infrastructure-oriented development, Pang said, adding that China can do the same. for green development.
China’s development miracle in terms of reducing poverty and applying advanced technologies has motivated other countries to join the BRI, according to Black.
This is perhaps a promising avenue for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to join forces with the IMF, the WB and the Asian Development Bank to launch green and low carbon projects in other countries. in development, Trigkas said.
The combined technical and capital pool of these institutions is extraordinary. If they manage to strategically pool their resources in this regard, they can really have a significant impact in humanity’s “war” on climate change, he added.