The potential climate consequences of China’s Belt and Roads Initiative

YALE Climate Connections

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is big. Really big. Potentially the most ambitious and widespread international infrastructure development effort ever, involving rail lines, highways, power plants, pipe lines, ports, and more.

Seriously – ever.

Given the Chinese government’s penchant for obfuscation and lack of transparency, it can be a little hard to tell just how precise the term “BRI”, as it is known, really is; or whether it’s more of a branding label slapped on anything that might fit.

That said, BRI investment so far is estimated to be somewhere between $1 and $8 trillion, encompassing hundreds of projects, with 125 countries said to have agreements with China as of mid 2019 – though estimates now are around 140, involving projects worldwide.

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