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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

How China’s Global Development Initiative helps export its green revolution


6 min read

Aerial over large solar farm in China Photo: Unsplash
China currently dominates the global production of solar panels

Photo: Unsplash

Gemma La Guardia, Consultant and Research Associate at Guidehouse ES&I, examines how China’s Global Development Initiative can be seen as a follow-up to the Belt and Road programme, providing a further outlet for exporting its green revolution.

On 21 September 2021 at the UN General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Xinping announced the creation of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), to counter the market shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 in a multilateral and cohesive way.


The new initiative will potentially see clean energy and digital technology infrastructure projects funded by a multitude of different countries, under the Chinese aegis. The language of the initiative indicates a step away from China’s ailing flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multi-billion-dollar project to finance infrastructure projects abroad, which concentrated on funding from Chinese banks.


Belt and Road Initiative
Formally inaugurated by President Xi Xinping in 2013, some 143 countries signed up to the Belt and Road Initiative through memorandums of understanding, while China has invested $932bn into projects since the BRI’s inception, according to the Green Finance and Development Center.


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