China's Global Role

Higher Standards for Chinese Companies - and a Risk for Africa?

We can report good news from China, and need to watch out for a potential downside. On January 24, China’s State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) introduced the Equator Principles – the environmental guidelines of leading private banks – into its green credit policy. The green credit policy was established in August 2007 as an incentive for companies to comply with environmental laws and pollution standards. In November, SEPA showed that the policy has teeth by withholding loans for twelve companies that violated environmental rules. By adopting the Equator Principles, China’

China's New Global Role and the Environment

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Presentation by Peter Bosshard, Policy Director, International Rivers Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:30-6:00pm reception; 6:00pm program The Commonwealth Club 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA Chinese companies are rapidly developing dams, mines and oil projects around the world. Does China's new global role offer an alternative to Western dominance for Southern countries? Or does China's quest for resources spell doom for the world's rivers, forests and climate? What is our responsibility as consumers of products that are made in China? Bosshard will explore

New Report Urges Better Energy Planning in Cambodia before Hydropower Dams are Developed

Monday, January 28, 2008
Chinese investment in Cambodia's hydropower sector is threatening some of the country's most precious ecosystems and the livelihoods of thousands of people, according to a new research report released today. The research report, prepared by International Rivers and the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia, highlights the growing interest in large-scale hydropower dam development by Cambodian decision makers backed mainly by Chinese project developers and financiers. In April 2006, China announced a US$600 million aid package to Cambodia, almost half of which financed the Kamchay Dam, Cambodia's first

Ghana Reservoir Would Be Major Greenhouse Gas Emitter

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Bui Dam, now being built in Ghana with financial backing from China Exim Bank, is described by the project environmental assessment as having "minor" greenhouse gas impacts. In reality, it could end up becoming a major emitter of greenhouse gases, many times worse than a natural gas plant of a similar size. Comments on Bui Dam EIA, sections on global warming Greenhouse Gas EmissionsAs a tropical dam which floods a very large area relative to its power generation capacity, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Bui are likely to be significant and of a magnitude similar to those of Brazilian

Civil Society Recommendations Regarding China Exim Bank's Environmental Policy

Sunday, September 30, 2007
China Exim Bank has rapidly grown to become the world's largest export credit agency. The Bank is financing Chinese exports and investment projects around the world, including in environmentally sensitive sectors such as hydropower, oil and gas, and mining. China Exim Bank adopted an environmental policy in November 2004, and released it to the public in April 2007. Environmental Defense and International Rivers prepared detailed recommendations regarding how this policy can be strengthened, and submitted them to China Exim Bank on September 10. The recommendations identify generally a

NGOs to China: Don't Repeat the West's Mistakes in Africa

Monday, May 14, 2007
As the African Development Bank convenes in Shanghai for its annual meeting, African and international civil society groups call for greater public accountability in China’s relations with Africa China’s expanding role in Africa may represent a great opportunity for development, but only if China is careful not to repeat the errors that Western powers made in the past. A delegation of African and international non-governmental organizations are currently visiting Shanghai and Beijing for a dialogue with Chinese government officials, academics, and civil society groups. They presented

China’s Role in Financing African Infrastructure

Monday, May 14, 2007
As part of its going-out strategy, China is rapidly expanding its economic cooperation with Africa. China Exim Bank plays an important role in this cooperation. The policy bank is financing more than 250 projects in Africa, primarily in the infrastructure sector. Infrastructure development is urgently needed in Africa. But many infrastructure projects are located in sectors (such as large dams, mining and forestry) which are socially and environmentally very sensitive. Social and environmental concerns need to be integrated in the planning of such projects. This International Rivers rep

Made by China: Damming the World's Rivers (map)

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Published in World Rivers Review, Vol.22, No. 3 - September 2007 In the past decade, companies and banks in China have greatly expanded their involvement in building and financing dams overseas. The cumulative social and environmental impacts of these projects is huge. This map shows just some of the proposed and ongoing dams that Chinese financiers and companies are involved in.

Building Friendships, Building Dams

Thai villagers protest at Chinese Embassy in Bangkok to demand a halt  in blasting rapids on the Mekong for a navigation project
Monday, September 17, 2007
From September 2007 World Rivers Review China’s Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia Bodes Ill for Mekong Basin RiversKampot province in Southern Cambodia is a sleepy coastal region most renowned for its fresh pepper, salt production, and durian fruit. The Kamchay River weaves its way across the land, from the highlands of Bokor National Park southward through a fertile valley of durian orchards and rice fields before arriving in the provincial capital, Kampot Town, where the steep-sided plateau of the national park dominates the skyline. Rich in natural wealth, the national park is also a

A New Colonial Power in Mozambique

Monday, September 17, 2007
From September 2007 World Rivers Review China Exploits Mozambique's Ecosystems and Lax Policies "Cahora Bassa is ours" are the first words Mozambique’s president, Armando Guebuza, said after signing an agreement with Portugal’s prime minister to transfer ownership of the 27-year-old hydropower dam on the Zambezi. The last link to Mozambique’s colonisation by Portugal is finally broken, but are Mozambique’s new economic ties following a similar pattern of exploitation and abuse? Abusive economic interests are not something new in international relations,


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