Revising the ‘Host Country Standard’ Principle: A Step for China to Align its Overseas Investment with the Paris Agreement

Tancrède Voituriez*, Yao Wang, Mathias Lund Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


China’s overseas investment flows (US$ 183 billion) and stock (US$ 4.7 trillion) reached a record peak in 2016, second only to those of the US. A major cause for concern lies in the environmental sustainability of China’s overseas investment portfolio, which is compounded by the lack of transparency of China’s main development finance arms. We intend in this paper to give an update on the magnitude of green finance in China’s overseas investment and development finance portfolio on the basis of the best available estimates, and to put these figures into a broader perspective of multilateral development banks’ commitments and practices to combat climate change. We derive practical policy recommendations that Chinese development banks could take to further align China’s overseas investment with the 2°C target of the Paris Agreement, with the first step being to revise the ‘host country standard’ principle, to ensure that Chinese development banks use the most stringent of the two environmental standards, abroad or at home.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1205-1210
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019


  • China
  • Overseas investment
  • Green finance
  • Environment protection

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