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Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14609122
Project Title(English) : Phasing Out Coal Along the Belt and Road: Traditional Regulation and Market-based Approaches 
Project Title(Chinese) : 在一帶一路沿線國家分階段停止使用煤炭:傳統管制和市場主導的方法  
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Boute, Anatole 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : n/a 
Department : Faculty of Law
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Prof Bogojevic, Sanja
Prof DELINA, Laurence
Mr Pirzada, Ashan
Prof Quan, Nguyen Hong
Mr Suryadi, Beni
Dr Wang, Peng
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2022 / 23
Fund Approved : 816,041
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-1-2025
Abstract as per original application
(English/Chinese):
Aim To formulate proposals on legal reforms to accelerate the phase out of coal along the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) in a way that minimizes legal tensions between foreign (i.e. Chinese) investors and host states. Project Background Chinese companies have heavily invested in coal-fired power generation as part of the BRI. These investments have contributed to securing electricity supply, and thus economic development in the BRI countries. However, due to high carbon intensity, coal-fired power generation is not compatible with the emission reductions that are necessary to limit the global temperature increase in accordance with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To achieve these objectives, all coal power plants, functioning without carbon capture and storage, should be closed by 2040 (IEA, 2021). This can be achieved by a coal ban, or through carbon pricing in combination with electricity market reform. Both approaches generate important legal questions that are determining for the ability of states to move away from coal, and are the subject of increasing international attention. However, the legal aspects of decarbonization in China’s neighborhood remains largely unexplored, despite the significance of this issue for global climate policy and Chinese foreign investments. Project Description Focusing on key destinations for Chinese coal-based electricity investments (Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam), this project will reflect critically on the legal reforms that are needed in each country to phase out coal by 2040. Three theoretical strands underpin this project. First, building on the “direct environmental regulation” theory, this research examines how Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam could force the closure of coal-fired power plants through stringent emission limits or a ban on coal power. Second, based on the “environmental markets” theory, this project analyses how these BRI countries could phase out coal through carbon pricing and market-based electricity reforms. Third, building on the “environmental expropriation” literature, it researches the implications of these reforms for Chinese investments, and identifies legal pathways to accelerate the phase out of coal with least resistance. Significance of Project As important source of carbon-intensive investment, it is critical to global climate policy that China’s BRI transitions away from coal. This project will make recommendations that could enable key BRI destinations to accelerate the phase out of coal, with least frictions with investors’ rights. The analysis contributes to the BRI objective of green investments, and is relevant to Hong Kong’s role as investment and arbitration hub under the BRI.
目的 為了逐步形成關於加速在一帶一路沿線國家分階段停止使用煤炭的步伐的法律改革方案,使得投資東道國與外國投資者(即中國投資者)之間在法律上的緊張對峙減少。 項目背景 中國公司在一帶一路中投資了大量的煤炭火力發電廠。這些投資保障了一帶一路沿線國家的電力供應,從而使得這些國家的經濟得到發展。然而,考慮到煤炭的高碳濃度,使用煤炭發電會阻礙巴黎協定下減緩全球氣溫升高的目標實現。為了實現減緩全球氣溫升高的目標,所有未配備碳捕集和碳儲存裝置的煤炭火力發電廠將於2040年前被關掉(國際能源署,2021)。禁止使用煤炭以及在電力市場改革中融入碳定價都能幫助實現逐步停止使用煤炭發電的目標。這兩種方法都會引發重要的法律問題,這些法律問題決定了一帶一路沿線國家能否停止使用煤炭,同時這些法律問題也逐步成為國際關註的焦點。然而,盡管這些法律問題對於全球氣候政策和中國對外投資都很重要,中國的鄰國去碳化的這些法律問題仍未有相關研究。 項目描述 該研究項目關註中國煤炭火力發電的主要投資地即印度尼西亞,巴基斯坦和越南,批判性地探討這些國家在2040年以前逐步停止使用煤炭的法律改革。該項目將用到三個理論框架。第一,基於「直接環境規製」的理論,該項目探討印度尼西亞,巴基斯坦和越南如何通過嚴格限製碳排放或者直接禁止使用煤炭發電來迫使煤炭火力發電廠關閉。第二,基於「環保市場」的理論,該研究項目將分析這些一帶一路沿線國家如何通過碳定價和市場導向的電力市場改革逐步停止使用煤炭。第三,基於「環保徵收」的理論,該項目研究了這些法律改革對中國投資者的影響,並提供了不同的法規發展方向來加速停止煤炭使用同時減少阻力。 項目重要性 考慮到煤炭火力發電廠建設是一種重要的高碳密度的投資,中國的一帶一路逐步「脫碳」對全球氣候政策實施至關重要。該研究項目將提供建議,使得重要的一帶一路沿線國家能加速逐步停止使用煤炭的步伐,同時最小程度地影響投資者地利益。該項目研究結果將幫助實現一帶一路綠色投資的目標。該項目研究結果也將更好幫助香港扮演一帶一路下投資和仲裁端口的角色。
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
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  SCREEN ID: SCRRM00542