In contrast to high carbon-emitting Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) energy projects in other countries, China has supported renewable and sustainable projects in Cuba. What sets the "Green BRI" in Cuba apart from the rest of the region?
BRI energy projects have focused on renewables in Cuba due to the country’s legislation, directives, and availability of natural resources. China’s role has been in providing capital and technology as China often is willing to take risks despite economic uncertainty created by the ongoing U.S. economic embargo. We assess the focus on sustainable development in Cuba is a reflection of Cuba's domestic circumstances, not necessarily the implementation of China's Green BRI.
This Tearline article uses open-source data collection and imagery analysis to study the impacts of Chinese development financing in Central America and the Caribbean. The article uses the Chinese financing of sustainable energy projects in Cuba as a case study, analyzing why energy projects have been sustainable in Cuba and evaluating whether the projects are successful. Of the six projects examined, imagery reveals that three were finished on time, while the other three are significantly delayed. Media portrayals and/or official press related to Cuban BRI projects downplay or do not acknowledge problems related to construction. Thus, our assessment of the health of Cuban BRI projects is based primarily on imagery analysis.