China’s Global Energy Finance Database
China’s two global policy banks—the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China– are becoming the largest sources of energy finance for governments across the world. In 2016, these banks provided upwards of $43.2 billion in energy financing—close to triple the average annual energy lending of the World Bank and all the Western-backed multi-lateral development banks combined.
Since 2000, China’s global development banks have provided roughly $160 billion across the world. These estimates stem from a new interactive database—the China Global Energy database— and inter-active web portal created and published by the Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) at Boston University.
The China Energy Finance database allows those interested to search and display the overseas lending of the CDB and Ex-Im over time, across regions and within countries, and by type of energy source for the period 2000 to 2016. Roughly 60 percent of the $160 billion in energy finance provided by these banks over the period was concentrated across the Asian continent, with Latin America (25 percent) and Africa (14 percent) receiving the bulk of the rest. While some of the financing is earmarked for the extraction of various energy sources and power transmission, 80 percent of all the finance is for power plants. Ninety three percent of the power plant financing is in the coal (66) and hydroelectric (27) sectors.
The China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (Ex-Im) do not uniformly publish these data. Since 2011, GEGI and other university-based research groups have been attempting to estimate the scope and characteristics of Chinese development finance in Africa and Latin America. To our knowledge this is the first attempt at a global estimate of China’s overseas energy finance. Drawing on the early work of the China-Africa Research Institute (SAIS-CARI) at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies maintains and makes publish a database on China-Africa Finance. GEGI, along with the Inter-American Dialogue mimicked the SAIS-CARI methodology and publishes an inter-active China-Latin America Finance database.