Raising the bar on sustainable development: Renewable energy and environmental standards in FOCAC VI

Raising the bar on sustainable development: Renewable energy and environmental standards in FOCAC VI

The 6th Forum on China - Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is taking place at a time when Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) are high on most international development agendas. Two important aspects of this agenda include environmental protection and the promotion of renewable energy. This policy briefing examines the promotion of renewable energy and the importance of environmental standards in Africa, within the China-Africa relationship.
 
Recommendations:

  • African governments should assist local African business in benefitting from funding opportunities available through China-Africa forums such as FOCAC. This can be achieved by identifying bankable projects which fit into national development plans
  • it will be beneficial for African states to continue reducing regional trade barriers such as tariffs. The reduction of trade barriers will assist in the development of renewable energy industries by encouraging the flow of renewable energy products between countries allowing industries to benefit from neighbouring countries. This will prevent the duplication of industries between countries and reduce costs in a capital intensive industry
  • the Chinese government need to make the Guidelines on Environmental Protection for China’s Outbound Investment compulsory. At present companies can voluntarily implement them thus gaps in implementation remain. By making these guidelines policy, companies will be forced to comply
  • African governments need to implement adequate environmental legislation and policy, especially through EIAs, in order to strengthen law enforcement where it is lacking. For example, in Kenya
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