Aerial photo taken on July 29, 2020 shows the China-Laos railway over the villages and fields in northern Laos. (Photo by Pan Longzhu/Xinhua)
BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- As an important participant and contributor in promoting global ecological governance, China has continuously attached importance to green development in building the Belt and Road.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
From the China-Laos Railway to the Garissa solar plant in Kenya, facts have proven that the BRI is not only a road to economic prosperity but also a road to green development.
In the mostly arid, desert-capped northeastern Kenyan county of Garissa, the neat and dense solar panels installed by China line up to form an "energy oasis," having benefited thousands of families and businesses since 2019.
The Chinese-built 50 MW photovoltaic power station, the largest photovoltaic power station in East Africa, has witnessed commercial activities flourish in Garissa and other counties in the dry north as residents obtain uninterrupted power supply in an area plagued by frequent blackouts.
Aerial photo taken on Dec. 13, 2019 shows a 50-megawatt solar farm in Garissa, Kenya. (Xinhua/Xie Han)
According to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Garissa solar plant puts Kenya on the path of achieving green energy sufficiency and adds to its rich profile as the center of green energy generation in Africa.
Under the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, China endeavors to enhance the top-level design of the BRI to bolster practical international cooperation on green development.
A white paper released by the State Council Information Office in October shows the country established multilateral cooperation mechanisms for green development under the BRI and has adopted a series of green measures in infrastructure, energy, and finance to support participating countries with funding, technology, and capacity building.
With international partners from over 40 countries, the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition came about. The Coalition facilitates biodiversity conservation, global climate change governance, and green transformation.
China has also taken many concrete steps on the environmental front and worked with the Belt and Road countries in building a "Green Silk Road," with the eco-civilization philosophy as the underpinning.
In a policy statement that has quickly won praise globally, China announced that it would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September.
It is a significant decision demonstrating China's sense of responsibility in addressing global climate change, said Han Wenxiu, a senior official with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Calling the BRI a popular public platform for international cooperation, Han cited several mega projects such as the China-Laos railway and Mombasa-Nairobi railway that effectively protected the local ecological environment while bringing substantial benefits to the local people.
Photo taken on April 24, 2021 shows the Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya. (Xinhua/Li Yan)
Since opening to traffic in 2017, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway has been crossed by countless wild animals migrating between north and south, bringing a spectacle of life to the vast grasslands of East Africa.
Along the track, 14 wildlife-crossing structures, including six giant ones in the form of underpasses measuring over 6.5 meters in height, have been installed at short intervals for the easy movement of animals as tall as adult giraffes.
China will encourage enterprises to fulfill their social responsibilities and develop more environment-friendly projects with high standards, said Han.
China will share its low-carbon technologies, including photoelectricity, photovoltaics, and wind power, with its partners and negotiate ways to invest in such areas, said Li Daokui, an economist with Tsinghua University at the 2021 Belt & Road Trade and Investment Thursday.
Industrial capacity cooperation among BRI countries should step up in the post-pandemic era. It should jointly address the adjustment of global industrial chains, green and low-carbon transformation, and increased debt from the impact of the pandemic to push for global economic recovery, Li noted. ■