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BRI energy infrastructure in Pakistan: environmental and climate risks and opportunities

Research report

Written by Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Fawad Khan, Yue Cao, Beatrice Tanjangco, Rebecca Nadin

Image credit:Ameer Usman via iStock

Investment projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will invariably bring environmental, climate and financial trade-offs, both opportunities and risks. In Pakistan, China– Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) energy projects will increase and diversify generation capacity and support economic development. The BRI also aims to strengthen trade between China, Pakistan and the Middle East, and has the potential to create new economic opportunities for companies across Asia.

To fully realise the intended benefits of CPEC and protect them against an increasingly erratic climate and international economic priorities shifting away from fossil fuels, disaster risk management and climate resilience and mitigation need to be integrated into CPEC infrastructure plans, designs and maintenance.

Using a rapid qualitative risk assessment approach, this report examines potential climate risks to and environmental risks that could arise from energy projects in Pakistan constructed as part of the CPEC.