The Belt and Road Initiative in Kazakhstan – Does the geopolitics of China’s outward investments put the brakes on decarbonisation?

Ivleva, Daria 2021: The Belt and Road Initiative in Kazakhstan. Does the geopolitics of China’s outward investments put the brakes on decarbonisation?. Berlin: adelphi.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a prime example of how decarbonisation processes interact with geopolitical dynamics. The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement depends on the emissions trajectories of the BRI partner countries and the infrastructure choices they make today. China’s support to energy, transportation and industrial projects might influence some of these choices, and these investments often underpin the geopolitical aspirations of China and its partners.

The BRI is more than a credit line – it is a central economic diplomacy instrument of a global power with potentially vast sustainability impact. The specific projects and geopolitical context vary across the different target countries and regions, and, therefore, so do their potential implications for climate action. The report adopts a case-study approach and looks in detail at China-financed projects in Kazakhstan.

Based on this in-depth analysis, the study outlines ways for European Climate Diplomacy to engage with China and its partner countries on a greener BRI.

This publication is a deliverable of MISTRA GEOPOLITICS, which is funded by MISTRA - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research.