Green Belt and Road Platform Informal Consultation
This event is organised by UN Environment.
Background and Context
Stretching from Europe through the Middle East and across the steppes of Central Asia to China, the ancient Silk Road once served as a crucial trade route that united West and East through commerce. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China's intention to develop The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims to expand the ancient trade route, both is geographic and thematic scope. Also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China's efforts are aimed at enhancing economic development and inter-regional connectivity by focusing on five areas of cooperation: infrastructure, trade, policy, finance and people.
The BRI is expected to bring trillion of dollars of investment to more than 60 countries over the coming decades. This presents an excellent opportunity for countries to use these investments to help transform their economies and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Change Agreement (Paris Agreement). Together, Belt and Road countries represent approximately 40% of the earth's total land area, 30% of global GDP, 55% of total CO2 emissions, and 60% of the world's population. The outcomes of BRI development will therefore have a profound impact on the planet and on human development.
In order to maximize the positive impacts of BRI, countries must avoid investments that lock in carbon-intensive infrastructure and transport networks, and focus on investments in green infrastructure, clean energy, clean technology, and human capital that can take advantage of sustainable development opportunities. Accompanying these opportunities, of course, are challenges associated with large scale development of the kind envisioned by the BRI. Care must be taken to ensure that social and environmental safeguards are in place, that benefits are equitably shared, and that projects include effective stakeholder engagement.
In December 2016, UN Environment signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection in which the two parties agreed to work together to promote international cooperation for the sustainable development of the BRI.
Green Belt and Road Platform
UN Environment will lead the establishment an international Green Belt and Road Platform (the Platform) of investors and stakeholders who are committed to promoting green and sustainable investments that will help Belt and Road countries to achieve goals and targets associated with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. The Platform will bring together a wide range of International Organizations, NGOs, and other stakeholder groups to engage with private sector investors and businesses that are involved in Belt and Road development. The Platform will represent the best international expertise on sustainable development, and offer private sector partners a means of taking advantage of sustainable investment opportunities.
While the Platform will be convened at the global level, there will be a number of clusters, or sub-components, under the Platform that will bring together relevant stakeholders to work on specific regions , themes, or sector.
The Platform is open to any organization that has relevant expertise and is interested in working with UN Environment and its partners to help ensure that the Belt and Road initiative achieves its potential as a global driver of sustainable development
UN Environment will hold an informal consultation on the creation of the Platform in Geneva on April 28, 2017. The general purpose of the meeting is to connect with potential Platform partners and have an open discussion about the structure, membership, goals, strategy, and operation of the Platform. Some specific objectives of the meeting include:
Agree on the vision, goals, and objectives of the Platform; Commit to working together on the Platform; Identify specific areas of interest, expertise, and capacity that participating organizations can bring to the Platform; Identify potential partners who are not represented at the meeting; Gather suggestions on the modality of cooperation on the Platform, including options for a governance structure; and Determine next steps.
The consultation is open to any organizations that are interested in joining the Platform. For more information and to confirm attendance, please contact UN Environment.
Meeting Room 3, International Environment House 1 (11-13 Chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine) Geneva, Switzerland