October 05, 2020

Transnational Environmental Accountability

Robert V. Percival and Jingjing Zhang

The efforts of multinational corporations in extractive industries to obtain oil and mineral resources from developing countries have often caused severe environmental harm and intense conflicts with local populations. Chinese companies have been a particular focus of such conflicts, which have occurred in more than 50 developing nations. Beginning in the early 2000s, the Chinese government’s “Go Out/Go Global” policy encouraged Chinese companies to increase their overseas presence. In 2013, the Go Out/Go Global policy reached a new stage when the Chinese government announced the “Belt and Road” Initiative, a massive global development strategy involving Chinese infrastructure investments in scores of countries. By 2015, China’s outward foreign direct investment had soared to $183 billion, the second highest in the world, though it declined to $118 billion in 2019.

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