Environmental Considerations of the Belt and Road Initiative

  • Richard HardimanEmail author


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.


BRI Environment Natural resources Safeguard policies 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOVA School of Business and EconomicsCarcavelosPortugal
  2. 2.Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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