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China Focus: Belt and Road: China's green footprint illuminates a greener future for world

BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- In Uzbekistan, a nation blessed with more than 300 sun-drenched days each year, photovoltaic (PV) panels from China are transforming the abundant sunshine into a valuable resource.


"Uzbekistan boasts more than 8 million households with the potential to install rooftop solar power systems, and many government buildings have embraced PV panels," said Durbek Otajonov, a local staff member of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd., China's solar technology giant.


As Otajonov sees it, a green transition is unfolding in his homeland, facilitated by China's technological advantages and greater connectivity brought by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


In August, a train loaded with PV modules left Xi'an, northwestern province of Shaanxi, for Uzbekistan's Tashkent. These modules will serve a 1-gigawatt PV project in the central Asian country, which will produce 2.4 billion kWh of clean energy annually, helping cut carbon emissions by up to 2.4 million tonnes.


It was the first special train for exporting PV modules of the Chang'an China-Europe freight train service launched in 2013 when China first proposed the BRI.


For Otajonov and billions of people in BRI partner countries, a greener future is awaiting.


Endeavoring to build a green Silk Road and make green a defining feature for BRI cooperation, China is committed to promoting global green development, in alignment with its domestic efforts of prioritizing sustainable and high-quality development that protects the eco-environment.


China, with a vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, has been vigorously promoting BRI cooperation in green infrastructure, green energy, and green transportation.


As the BRI cooperation enters into a new stage following a decade of development, China further made "promoting green development" one of the eight major steps to support high-quality BRI cooperation.


During the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) concluded last week, China has pledged efforts including stepping up support for the BRI International Green Development Coalition, continuing to hold the BRI Green Innovation Conference, and establishing dialogue and exchange mechanisms for the solar industry and a network of experts on green and low-carbon development.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commented that investments flowing from the Green Silk Road are an important opportunity to fast-track sustainable and climate-resilient development to protect lives and livelihoods.


"The Green Silk Road is an important tool that can help us all pull us out of the dead ends of the past, and set us on a new pathway that benefits people and the planet alike," the UN chief said.


In Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a UAE-China cooperative solar power plant project is expected to help Abu Dhabi slash its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 million tonnes.


In Kenya, the China-financed Garissa Solar power plant, the largest solar plant in East Africa, puts the country on the path to achieving green energy sufficiency.


"Renewables are expected to make up half of all power generation by 2050 with China leading the way," reads an article published on the website of the Brookings Institution. It goes on to say that China's clean energy investments through BRI look poised to utterly transform the global clean energy industry.


In September, Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturers and suppliers made a strong presence at the bustling showrooms of this year's International Motor Show in Munich, Germany, washing the world with a new wave of technological innovations in green transportation.


Green products, such as NEVs, have gradually replaced traditional cargos of machinery as the main exports carried by the Chang'an China-Europe freight train service, said Yuan Xiaojun from Xi'an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation Co., Ltd.


Official data showed that, in 2022, China's NEV exports increased 1.2 times year on year to 679,000 units. In the first eight months of this year, the country exported 727,000 NEVs, an increase of 110 percent from a year ago.


As noted by Zhu Yaming, a consultant with Ernst & Young China, the evolving trend in China's NEV export model is shifting away from exporting complete vehicles and components. It now encompasses the entire industry chain, including research and development, production, supply, and sales.


The first car plant of China's NEV giant BYD in Thailand is scheduled to start production in 2024 with an annual capacity of 150,000 new energy vehicles. The presence of BYD and other Chinese enterprises in the NEV industry is expected to invigorate NEV markets in Thailand and neighboring countries.


Held on the sidelines of the BRF this year and with the attendance of over 400 people from over 40 countries, a high-level forum on green development witnessed the launching of the Beijing Initiative for Belt and Road Green Development, the Green Investment and Finance Partnership, and the Central Asia Regional Green Technology Development Action Plan, demonstrating concerted will and efforts to embrace a greener future.


Noting that green development serves as the driving force for future industrial transformations in countries worldwide, Marcelo dos Santos Sousa, Senior Executive of Latin American and the Caribbean Development Bank, said the BRI cooperation is poised to play a pivotal role by assisting other countries in enhancing their collaboration with China, thus embarking on the journey toward sustainable development.

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