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Green Belt and Road Initiative

Elibrary: Green Belt and Road Initiative

Version 2.0 (Updated January 2022)

The purpose of this eLibrary is to introduce the some of the the discussions on the environmental impact of China’s One Belt, One Road (一带一路, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative) which is a huge China-led international infrastructure initiative launched in 2013. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. All the pieces are free-online. However, some items have been republished in Academia Edu [AE] and Research Gate [RG]. These can be accessed simply by registering at each (once only).


Hu, J. e.a. (2022) ‘Spillover-feedback effects of social, economic, and environmental footprints based on the “Belt and Road Initiative”’, Journal of Environmental Management

Liu, X and Bennett, M.M. (2022) ‘The geopolitics of knowledge communities: Situating Chinese and foreign studies of the Green Belt and Road Initiative’, Geoforum, 128, 160-180.

Xin, L. and Wang, Y. (2022) ‘Towards a green world: the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on the carbon intensity reduction of countries along the routeEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research


Cheshmehzangi, A., Xi, L and Tan-Mullin, M. (2021) ‘Pioneering a Green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) alignment between China and other members: mapping BRI’s sustainability plan’, Blue-Green Systems, 3, 1,

Cheremeteff, F.C., e.a. (2021) ‘The Belt And Road Initiative (Bri) In North Eurasia: Changing Geographies and the Unece Multilateral Environmental Agreements’, Geography, Environment, Sustainability, 14, 3, 94-109.

Coenen, J., e.a. (2021) ‘Environmental Governance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative’, Environmental Policy and Governance, 31, 1, 3-17. [RG]

Foggin, M, e.a. (2021) ‘Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia: Anticipating socioecological challenges from large-scale infrastructure in a global biodiversity hotspot’, Conservation Letters,

Haider, J., e.a. (2021) ‘Economic and environmental impacts of alternative routing scenarios in the context of China’s belt and road initiative’, Maritime Transport Research, 2.

Khan, A., e.a. (2021) ‘Impact of technological innovation, financial development and foreign direct investment on renewable energy, non-renewable energy and the environment in belt & Road Initiative countries’, Renewable Energy, 171, 479-1491.

Lorenzo, J.A.P (2021) ‘A Path Toward Sustainable Development Along the Belt and Road’, Journal of International Economic Law, 24, 3, 591-608.

Ma, J and Zadek, S. (2021) Decarbonizing the Belt and Road: A Green Finance Roadmap

Narain, D. e.a. (2021) ‘Biodiversity risks and safeguards of China’s hydropower investments in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Countries’, Research Square Preprint

Nedopil Wang, Christoph (2021) China’s Investments in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2020, Green BRI Center, International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF), Beijing

Politi, A. (2021) How Green is China’s Belt and Road Initiative? IAI Commentary

Schmidt-Traub, G., e.a. (2021) ‘Integrating climate, biodiversity, and sustainable land-use strategies: innovations from China’, National Science Review, 8, 139.

Tan, X., e.a. (2021) ‘Bibliometric research on the development of climate change in the BRI regions’, Advances in Climate Change Research, 12, 11

Tritto, A. (2021) ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative: from perceptions to realities in Indonesia’s coal power sectorEnergy Strategy Reviews, 34.

Wang, C., e.a. (2021) ‘Factors affecting changes of greenhouse gas emissions in Belt and Road countries’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 147

Wu, Q. and Madni, G.R. (2021) ‘Environmental protection in selected one belt one road economies through institutional quality: Prospering transportation and industrialization’, PLOS One

Xue, H., e.a. (2021) ‘Assessment of the green development level for participating countries in the Belt and Road initiative‘, Annals of Operational Research

Zhia, T. (2021) ‘Environmental Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Implications to Materialize China’s Green Belt and Road InitiativeSustainability, 13, 18.

Zhang, D. e.a. (2021) ‘Ecology and environment of the Belt and Road under global climate change: A systematic review of spatial patterns, cost efficiency, and ecological footprints’, Ecological Indicators, 131


Benintendi, R., e.a. (2020) ‘Energy, environment and sustainable development of the belt and road initiative: The Chinese scenario and Western contributionsSustainable Futures, 2.

BRIIGDC (2020) Key Biodiversity Areas and Impact Assessment in BRI-covered Area

China State Council (2020) Responding to Climate Change

China State Council (2020) Biodiversity Conservation in China

Cheng, C. and Ge, C. (2020) ‘Green development assessment for countries along the belt and road’, Journal of Environmental Management, 263.

Cuiyun, C. and Chazhong, G. (2020) ‘Green development assessment for countries along the belt and road’, Journal of Environmental Management, 263

DeBoom, M. (2020) ‘Sovereignty and Climate Necropolitics: The Tragedy of the State System Goes ‘Green.’ in AEG Jones,e.a. (eds) Changing Geographies of the State: New Spaces of Geopolitics, 276-287 [RG]

Fan, P-F., e.a. (2020) ‘Build up conservation research capacity in China for biodiversity governance’, Nature, Ecology and Evolution, 4, 1162-1167.

Gu, A. and Zhou, X-Y. (2020) ‘Emission reduction effects of the green energy investment projects of China in belt and road initiative countries’, Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 6,1.

Han, M., e.a. (2020) ‘Carbon inequality and economic development across the Belt and Road regions’, Journal of Environmental Management,

Hou, J., e.a. (2020) ‘How renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions? Decoupling and decomposition analysis for 25 countries along the Belt and Road’, Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 6, 1.

Hughes, A.C., e.a. (2020) ‘Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative’, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 35, 7, 583-593.

Kouser, S., Subhan, A. and Abedullah (2020) ‘Uncovering Pakistan’s Environmental Risks and Remedies under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 274661–4663

Lashari, A.H., e.a. (2020) ‘Biodiversity conservation in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor region with strategic environmental assessment’, Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Lu, M. (2020) ‘Corporate Environmental Responsibility: Another Road to Achieve Ecological Civilization and Green BRI’ Chinese Journal of Environmental Law,

Qinli, L., e.a. (2020) ‘Imbalance and drivers of carbon emissions embodied in trade along the Belt and Road InitiativeApplied Energy, 280, 1-12.

Rauf, A., e.a. (2020) ‘Does sustainable growth, energy consumption and environment challenges matter for Belt and Road Initiative feat? A novel empirical investigation’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 262.

Saud, S., e.a.(2020) ‘The role of financial development and globalization in the environment: accounting ecological footprint indicators for selected one-belt-one-road initiative countriesJournal of Cleaner Production, 250.

Spiegel, J.E. (2020) ‘The potential climate consequences of China’s Belt and Roads Initiative’ Yale Climate Connections 17.2.2020

Sun. Y, e.a. (2020) ‘Low-carbon financial risk factor correlation in the belt and road PPP project’, Finance Research Letters, 35

Teo, H.C. (2020) ‘Building a green Belt and Road: A systematic review and comparative assessment of the Chinese and English-language literature’, PLOS One, 15, 9. [RG]

Turschwell, M.P., e.a. (2020) ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Conservation opportunities for threatened marine species and habitats’, Marine Policy, 112.

Wang, X. e.a. (2020) ‘Environmental governance of transportation infrastructure under Belt and Road Initiative: A unified framework’ Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 139, 189-199.

Xia, Z. (2020) ‘How can the Belt and Road better protect biodiversity?’, China Dialogue, 23.10.2020


Carey, L. (2019) Chinese Multilateralism and the Promise of a Green Belt and Road, CSIS Brief, 5.11.2019

Chernysheva, N.A., e.a. (2019) ‘Green energy for belt and road initiative : economic aspects today and in the future’, International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 9, 5, 178-185

Cui, C., e.a (2019) ‘CO2 emissions and their spatial patterns of Xinjiang cities in China’, Applied Energy, 252

Elkind, J. (2019) Toward a Real Green Belt and Road (14pp)

Eyler, B. (2019) ‘Can solar diplomacy green the Belt and Road?’, China Dialogue, 24.1.2019

Fan, J.L., e.a. (2019) ‘Determinants of carbon emissions in ‘Belt and Road initiative’countries: a production technology perspective’, Applied Energy, 239, 268–279

Gong, C. (2019) ‘Research on the Coupling of Industrial Structure and Environment between China and the “Belt and Road” Countries’ International Journal of Frontiers in Sociology, 1, 1, 89-98

Huang, Y. (2019) ‘Environmental risks and opportunities for countries along the Belt and Road: Location choice of China’s investment’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 211, 14-26

Hughes, A. C. (2019) ‘Understanding and minimizing environmental impacts of the belt and road initiative’, Conservation Biology, 33, 4, 883– 894.

Lechner, A.M. e.a. (2019) ‘The Belt and Road Initiative: Environmental Impacts in Southeast Asia’, ISEAS Perspective [RG]

Lechner, A.M. (2019) ‘Making the Belt and Road Environmentally Sustainable in Southeast AsiaISEAS Perspective, 110

Liu, X., e.a. (2019) ‘Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road’, Current Biology, 29, 3

Losos, E., Pfaff, A., Olander, L., Mason, S., & Morgan, S. (2019). Reducing environmental risks from belt and road initiative investments in transportation infrastructure  World Bank Policy Research Working Paper. 8718).

Maliszewska, M. and van der Mensbrugghe, D. (2019) The Belt and Road Initiative. Economic, Poverty and Environmental Impacts, World Bank Policy Research WP 8814

Nakano, J. (2019) ‘Greening or greenwashing the belt and road initiative?’ CSIS Newsletter 1.5.2019.

Qian, Y. e.a (2019) ‘Driving Factors of Agricultural Virtual Water Trade between China and the Belt and Road Countries’ Environmental Science and Technology, 53, 10

Sun, H., e.a. (2019) ’Trade openness and carbon emissions: Evidence from belt and road countriesSustainability

Teo, H.C., e.a. (2019) ‘Environmental Impacts of Infrastructure Development under the Belt and Road Initiative’, Environments, 6. [RG]

VIVIDeconomics (2019) Decarbonising the Belt and Road Initiative. A Green Finance Road map

Xu, T. (2019) ‘The trade impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: from resource and environmental perspectives’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 150.

Zadek, S. (2019) ‘The critical frontier: Reducing emissions from China’s Belt and Road’, Brookings Future Development Blog, 25.4.2019


Ascensão, F., e.a. (2018) ‘Environmental challenges for the Belt and Road Initiative’, Nature Sustainability, 1, 204-208

Cai, X e.a. (2018) ‘Will developing countries become pollution havens for developed countries? An empirical investigation in the Belt and Road’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 198, 624-632.

CCICED (2018) Special Policy Study on Green Belt and Road and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Durani, M.Q. and Khan, M.B. (2018) ‘The Environmental Impact of The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): A Case Study’, Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences, 11, 1.

Foggin, M. (2018) Conservation Geopolitics: Envisioning the future of the ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ in the Mountains of Central Asia, MSRI Brief

Geo, H, e.a. (2018) ’Progress of Earth Observation in China’, Chinese Journal of Space Science, 28, 5, 797-809.

Han, M., e.a. (2018) ‘Tracking embodied carbon flows in the Belt and Road regions’, Journal of Geographical Sciences, 28, 9, 1263-1284 [RG]

Hong, C-S. and Johnson, O. (2018) Mapping potential climate and development impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: a participatory approach, SEI Discussion Brief

Lechner, A.M., Chan, F.K S., and Campos-Arceiz, A. (2018) ‘Biodiversity conservation should be a core value of China’s belt and road initiative’, Nature, Ecology and Evolution, 2, 3, 408– 409. [RG]

Li, H., Li, F.Y. and Lu, X. (2018) ‘China’s Contributions to Global Green Energy and Low-Carbon Development: Empirical Evidence under the Belt and Road Framework’, Energies,

Liu, H. and Kim, H. (2018) ‘Ecological Footprint, Foreign Direct Investment, and Gross Domestic Production: Evidence of Belt & Road Initiative Countries’, Sustainability,

Liu, N. (2018) ‘Will China build a green Belt and Road in the Arctic?’, Review of European, International and Comparative Environmental Law, 27, 1, 55-61.

Peneluppi, J.R., e.a. (2018) ‘China’s Initiative of One Belt One Road (OBOR) Provides a Platform for Sustainable Economica Development: Redeeming Old Silk Route for New Economic Era’, NZAAR-SGER, 18-64

Rauf A. ‘Nexus between Industrial Growth, Energy Consumption and Environmental Deterioration: OBOR Challenges and Prospects to China,’ 2018 5th International Conference on Industrial Economics System and Industrial Security Engineering (IEIS), 2018, pp. 1-6

Reynolds, C., Stout, T. and Wang, X. (2018) Environmental and Economic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Pakistan’s Energy Sector, MA Thesis, Duke Univ.

Simonov, E. (2018) ‘China’s green belt and road tested at the Russian border’, China Dialogue, 31.5.2018

Teese, P. (2018) ‘Exploring the Environmental Repercussions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative’, EESI Articles, 30

Zhang, Y, e.a. (2018) ‘Virtual water trade of agricultural products: A new perspective to explore the Belt and Road’, Science of the Total Environment, 622/623, 988-996.

Zhou, L., e.a. (2018) Moving the Green Belt and road initiative: From words to actions.  World Resources Institute.


China CPC Central Committee and State Council (2017) Guidance on Promoting Green Belt and Road

Suocheng, D., e.a. (2017) ‘Green development modes of the belt and road’, Geography, Environment, Sustainability, 10, 1, 53– 69.

Tracy, E. F., e.a. (2017) ‘China’s new Eurasian ambitions: The environmental risks of the Silk Road economic belt’,  Eurasian Geography and Economics, 58, 1, 56– 88.

WWF (2017) The Belt and Road Initiative. WWF Recommendations and Spatial Analysis

Zhang, N., e.a. (2017) ‘Carbon footprint of China’s belt and road’, Science, 357, 6356, 1107– 1107.


Shah, A. (2016) ’Building a Sustainable Belt and Road’, Horizons, 16, 7.

Yang, D., e.a. (2016) ‘New road for telecoupling global prosperity and ecological sustainability’, Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 2, 10, 1– 6.