On August 16, the first plenary meeting of the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road (GIP) was held in Beijing. Over 150 representatives from China and UK governments, global financial institutions and international organizations gathered for a whole-day discussion of how to facilitate implementation of the GIP and build capacity for the greening of Belt and Road investment. The Paulson Institute attended the meeting as one of co-drafting organizations of GIP and a member of GIP steering committee.
The meeting was moderated by Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of China Green Finance Committee and Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the City of London’s green finance institute. Chen Yulu, Deputy Governor of the PBOC and Christina Scott, Chargé d’Affaires, British Embassy Beijing made keynote speeches.
The GIP is a set of voluntary principles dedicated to incorporating low-carbon and sustainable development practices into projects in Belt and Road countries. Since its launch in November 2018 and official announcement at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in April 2019, the GIP has received strong backing from the global financial community.
Some key takeaways from the meeting are:
- 30 Signatories: In total, 30 global institutions have signed up to the GIP so far. In which, 16 foreign financial institutions, mainly from UK, EU, MENA region and Asian countries. And 14 from China, including 11 financial institutions, 1 non-financial association and 2 HK based financial institutions. 27 signatories attended the meeting.
- 3 Working Groups: At the meeting, it was agreed to set up 3 working groups to take stock of study best practices and develop tools and methodologies for implementation of the GIP. Co-chaired by GIP signatories, these working groups will be focusing on environmental/climate risk assessment (chaired by ICBC), environmental/climate information disclosure (co-chaired by Credit Agricole CIB and Industrial Bank), and green finance instruments (co-chaired by Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of China).
- 2 Secretariat Offices: The establishment of GIP Secretariat with 2 offices in Beijing and London was announced at the meeting. The Secretariat will continue to promote the GIP, develop relevant tools and instruments for better implementation of the GIP, and report on progress of the implementation.
- 1 Platform for Green Project Database: The meeting also discussed to develop a green project data base. It aims to increase the transparency of Belt and Road investments, and potentially bridge the information gap between financiers and project owners/developers. The database will be open to the Signatories once the GIP website is launched.
The first plenary meeting established the momentum needed to drive the work ahead for the GIP Secretariat offices by bringing stakeholders together to clearly develop streams of work. With the framework for implementation created, the GIP is well positioned with a strong foundation to continue its important mission.