Databases for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has remained vague in many aspects, including availability of data.

We analyzed a number of data sources and databases that are relevant for the BRI. On this site we provide an overview of relevant data sources. While it is indeed true that there is no “master” database, much data can be found through a variety of sources. The data include:

Financial and economic data

  • Debt of Belt and Road countries
  • Bilateral debt data of China with Belt and Road countries
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) aggregate data for the Belt and Road Initiative
  • Bilateral project finance data (overseas direct investment – ODA) for Chinese investments including in Belt and Road countries
  • Export and import data between Belt and Road countries and China
  • Aid from China to the Belt and Road Initiative countries.

Trade facilitation information

  • Trade agreements with China
  • Overview of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for BRI countries

Ecological and environmental data for a green BRI

  • Fossil fuel financing data Belt and Road countries
  • Climate risks of Belt and Road countries
  • Climate emissions/greenhouse gas emissions Belt and Road countries
  • Biodiversity and Biodiversity Risks of Belt and Road countries

The table gives an overview and short description of the databases and provides links. Please feel free to reach out to should you know a database that should be included in the list.*

Data typeSourceDescriptionLevel of analysisGeographyTimeframeWebsite
Bilateral contract volumesCARI/China StatisticsFinancial value of contracts bilateralAfrica1998-2018Link
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT)UNCTADinvestment treaties agreementsbilateralWorld1980-2019Link
Biodiversity wildlife camera trap recordsWildlife Insights, Googlewildlife camera trap records using AI to map health of wildlife speciesanimal species, countriesWorldsince 1990Link
Blacklisted projects and organizations in the BRI (in Chinese)China Social Organizations 中国社会组织overview of blacklisted projects and organizations that pretend to be BRI but are notproject, organizationBRILink
BRI connectivityICBCsome data on connectivitycountryBRILink
BRI countriesBRI Project BlogMoUsbilateralWorldsince 2013Link
BRI countries' environmental regulation BRIGC (MEE/FECO) database, big data for BRIlinks to environmental regulations, including EIA requirements, of many BRI countriescountryBRIvaryingLink
BRI country economic data overviewsBRI Big Data Platformgeneral overviews of economic indicatorscountryWorldvaryingLink
BRI country listOfficial list of BRI countries Chinese list of BRI countriesBRILink
BRI Environmental Big Data PlatformBRI Environmental Big Data Platforma collection of data from BRI countries, which is mostly copied from other data sources. not downloadable.countryBRI varyingLink
BRI projectsBRI Project Bloggeneral project descriptionbilateralBRI2015-2019Link
BRI projectsYi Dai Yi Lu 一带一路some project descriptionsproject levelBRIvaryingLink
Carbon emission tracker, financial flows, investment risksCarbon TrackerDetailed information on financial flows, investments, carbon emissions, coal fired power plants, in many countries across the globeinvestments, financial flows, stranded assetsglobalto 2020Link to Carbon Tracker
Carbon pricing initiativesWorld Bank Carbon Pricing databasedatabase containing carbon pricing and emission traditing initiatives (ETS) implemented, proposedcountry, sub-nationalWorldLink
Case studies on climate policy implementation IDFC Climate Mainstreaming Databasea number of policies and case studies on how global finance institutions implement IDFC's 5 voluntary principles financial institutionsWorldLink
China Investment TrackerAmerican Enterprise InstituteData on Chinese investment in the world with a value of >100 million USDbilateralWorld2009-2019Link
China's FDIChina Statistical BureauFDI stock, FDI flowbilateralWorld1980-2017Link
Chinese international coal engagement Global Energy Monitor (GEM)detailed description of all Chinese overseas coal engagementsassetWorldup to dateLink to GEM
Chinese laws translated into EnglishChina Law TranslateCollection of many Chinese laws translated into EnglishChinese lawsChina2000-2020Link China Law Translate
Climate Action TrackerClimate Action Trackerprovides information on country emissions and sectors around the World also with integration of NDC targetscountry, sectorWorldsince 1990Link
Climate Change DashboardIMF Climate Change Dashboardselected databases for economic, climate, temperature, emission, sea level, trade, FDI, financial risks, taxes, etc. country, climate categoryWorldvaryingLink to IMF Climate Change Dashboard
Climate Change Laws of the WorldGrantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSEclimate laws, policies and litigation cases globallycountry, climate litigation cases, climate laws and policiesWorldup-to-dateLink to Climate Changes Laws
Climate committments of public banksE3G Public Bank Climate
Tracker Matrix
interactive tool to evaluate mainstreaming of climate change into financial decision making of the most well-known public banks, including Multilateral Development Banks such as the World Bankfinancial institutionsWorldLink to E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker
Climate Finance DataUNFCCC Climate Finance Data PortalData and information on activities funded in developing countries to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); tracks the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and informs the intergovernmental process under the UNFCCC and relevant stakeholders on the mobilization of resources to support developing countries in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation projects and other activities under the, bilateral, financing institutions (particularly development finance institutions, WorldLink
Climate lawsLSE climate laws databasean overview of global climate laws and climate-related litigation casescountry, sectorWorldLink
Climate RiskGermanwatchFinancial losses due to extreme wheather eventscountryWorld2010-19Link
Climate vulnerabilityNotre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative ND-GAINclimate vulnerability of countries across the globe, including water stress, food stress etc. country180 countriesLink to ND-GAIN
CO2 emissionsEDGAR Fossil CO2 emissions of all world countries - 2020 ReportCO2 emission data by country, industry since 1970country, sectorWorldsince 1970Link EDGAR CO2 Data
CO2 emissionsIEAdetailed CO2 emission datacountryWorld1971-2015Link
Coal financingBanktrackCoal finance, banks, locations, projectsbilateral, projectsWorldLink
Country dataWorld Bank Data Bankdetailed data on thousands of country indicatorscountyWorld1970-2018Link
DebtBoston Universitygeneral debt including lender, use of funds, amountbilateralLatin America2005-2018Link
DebtWorld Bankdetailed debt statisticscountryWorld1960-2027Link
DebtCARIdetailed databilateralAfrica2000-2017Link
DebtIMFprivate debt, public debt, gross national debtcountryWorld1980-2017Link
Energy and Energy investmentBoston University Global Development Policy Center's "China's Global Power Databasean overview of China's foreign direct investments (FDI) and development finance in power generation in regard to capacity, status, technology, CO2 emissions, lenders and deal, technology, emissions, investorWorld2000-2033Link to BU China Global Power Database
Energy financeBoston Universityenergy sources, lenders, energy subsectorsbilateralWorld2000-2018Link
Environmental performanceYale EPI24 performance indicators across 10 issue categoriescountryWorld2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018Link
Environmental provisions in trade agreementsDIE TREND TRade and ENvironment Database analyzing how environmental provisions are part of bilateral or multilateral trade agreementscountryWorld1945-2016Link
ExportsChina Statistical BureaubilateralbilateralWorld1980-2017Link
External Development Finance StatisticsOECD DAC detailed data that capture OECD development finance statistics and give an integrated picture of both bilateral and multilateral climate-related external development finance, bilateralWorld, OECD DACsince 2000Link
FDICARIdetailed databilateralAfrica2000-2017Link
Financial institutions restricting coal fundingInstitute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)list of financial institutions that stop or restrict funding coal, including the year of announcementfinancial institutionWorldLink
Foreign Investment projects (equity and debt)MOFCOM Investment Project Information DatabaseSearchable database on Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) - with limited opportunities to download. country, sector, continent, projectWorldvaryingLink
Fossil fuels financingRainforest Action Networkdifferent types of fossil fues financingbanksWorldLink
GHG emissionsClimatewatchoverview and data on country`s emissions, NDCs etc.countryWorld1990-2016Link
Global Coal Finance TrackerGlobal Coal Finance Trackerfinance flows of coal financing by financial institution (banks), source countries, target countries with description of
current, future and stopped coal fired-power plants (MW and USD)
country, financial institutionglobal2000-2030Link Global Coal Public Finance Tracker
Global Energy StatisticsEnerdata Global Energy Statistical Yearbookdetailed energy balance, trading, consumption and intensity data, covering oil, natural gas, coal, renewables, CO2country, year, energy typeWorldvaryingLink to Global Energy Statistical Yearbook
Global Solar Atlasi.a. World Bankdetailed and downloadable (GIS) maps of solar energy potentialGISWorldLink
Global Wind Atlasi.a. World Bankdetailed and downloadable (GIS) maps on global wind patterns for wind power generationGISWorldLink
Green financial marketsGGFIdepth and quality of marketsstock marketsworld's major stock markets2015-2018Link
Green financial measures, policies, standards and codesGreen Finance Policiescounting close to 400 policy documents for green finance (e.g. codes, laws, taxonomies, regulation), sortable by country, focus areas, asset class etc.countryWorldrel="noopener" target="_blank">Link
Green policy indexThe Green Future Indexa ranking of 76 leading countries and territories on their progress and commitment toward building a low carbon future. It measures the degree to which their economies are pivoting toward clean energy, industry, agriculture, and society through investment in renewables, innovation, and green financecountry76 countriesLink to Green Future Index
Infrastructure investment needs and gapsGlobal Infrastructure Hub (GIHUB)Trends and gaps in infrastructure finance, including energy, transport, rail, airports, water, telecommunicationsSectorsglobal2017-2040Link GI Hub
InvestmentAPECFDI, exportsbilateralAPECLink
Investment project database CSIS - Reconnecting Asiasome infos on projectsprojectWorld, BRILink
Investment project databaseChinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)some infos on projectsprojectChina to the WorldLink
Loan and credit contractsAidData "How China Lends"original contracts of Chinese financial institutions (e.g. China Development Bank, China Exim Bank, ICBC) with 24 borrowing countriescountry, financial institutionsBRIsince 2000AidData Loan contracts
Mediterranean engagemen of ChinaCHINAMED DATAaggregated data on China's engagement regarding imports, exports, trade, energy dependence, contract value, Chinese workers in the Mediterraneanregion, indicatorMediterraneansince 2004Link to dataset
Multiple platforms and tools for green economyGreen Finance Platformdatabase of multiple tools and databases for green economy, green finance etc.databasesmultigranularLink
NDC good policy practicesNDC Partnership good practices databaseDepository of good practices and lessons learned from countries that have overcome obstacles and where climate action is being effectively designed and, sectorsWorldsince 2015Link
NDC nationally defined contributions trackerDIE NDC Explorerproviding country analysis of nationally defined contributions commitments countryWorld since 2015Link
Net Zero Scorecard - Global climate ambitions per countryNet Zero Tracker for countriescountries' ambitions to put zero carbon/zero emissions in law or not countryworld
NGOs in the BRIChinese NGO Database by Belt and Road Research Platformglobal mapping and international activities of Chinese NGOscountryglobal2005-2020Link Chinese NGO Internationalization Database
Ports invested by ChinaGlobal Change Research Data Publishing & Repositorya database of ports built/invested by Chinese companies 1979-2019countryWorld1979-2019Link to database
Power plantsRIOTdescription of projectprojectWorldLink
Project financeAidDatadetailed government finance data for projectsbilateralAfrica, Middle East, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Carribean, Eastern Europe, Central Europe2000-2014Link
Renewable energy dataIRENAdetailed data on energy capacity and generation, energy balances, finance and investment, costs, policies...countryWorld2009-2018Link
Renewable energy investmentsClimatescope Bloomberg New Energy Finance BloombergNEFcross-border new energy projects with investment volumes, investor country, recipient country, type of investor country, energy sectorWorld (bilateral)2009-2018Link
SDG attainment dataSustainable Development Solutions NetworkReal-time data on financing, impacts, gaps in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)SDGsglobalreal timeLink SDGs Today
Survey data on African nations' public perceptionsAfrobarometerSentiments of African nations's towards China, climate, and many other indicatorscountry, topic (such as climate, international relation)Africa1999-2019Link Afrobarometer
Terrestrial BiodiversityWorld Bankdetailed database with animal counts, endemicity score etc.biodiversity indicators, e.g. total counts of animal prevalence SubnationalLink
TradeCARIdetailed databilateralAfrica2000-2017Link
TradeUN Comtradedetailed bilateral trade databilateral, country, sectorWorldsince 1962Link
TradeOEC - the Observatory of Economic Complexityglobal dataset for trade, looking at industry sectors, countries, yearscountry, sector, yearWorldup to 2020Link to OEC
Trade agreementsAsiapediaTrade agreementsbilateralWorldLink
Transport dataWorld Bankimpact on trading cost and shipment time of BRI transport projectsmunicipalBRILink
WRI's Dataset overviewWRI Dataset overviewa number of datasets published by WRI, including global power plants, palm oil, biodiversity areas, ocean and coral reef bleaching, country, sectorWorldvaryingLink
Zero Tracker for companiesZero tracker for companiescompanies' ambitions and commitments for decarbonizingcompany2,000 largest publicly traded companies

*The Green BRI Center is not responsible for the content or accuracy of data of other pages it links to.