Road to China Report Attempts to Close Information Gap about Social and Environmental Impacts of Chinese Oil and Gas Ventures in Central Asia

Crude Accountability is proud to present our newest report, Road to China: China’s Oil and Gas Ventures in Central Asia. Social and Environmental Impacts. 

Road to China examines the impacts of Chinese investments in the oil and gas sector in three Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Drawing on our almost 20 years of experience working with communities impacted by oil and gas development, the report focuses on how Chinese-led projects impact the lives of residents living near the investment sites.  

Our team, joined by independent local journalists, traveled to communities close to oil sites in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which are being developed by Chinese companies. Their firsthand accounts featured in our report demonstrate the environmental, social, and economic damage caused by irresponsible practices.

In addition, the report contains a comprehensive review of the publicly available – although scarce – information on investments as reported by Central Asian governments and local and international media and reflected in expert opinion pieces, and other open sources.

“The main difficulty we face when evaluating Chinese investments in the region is the lack of information about investment impacts on the environment and local populations, as well as the absence of basic details about the projects in general,” says Crude Accountability consultant Sergey Solyanik.

“In addition, there is a big problem with a lack of public participation in decision-making for people living close to polluting sites. National and international norms applicable in Kazakhstan stipulate that the government must organize, and a business is required to support, adequate public engagement in decision making. In reality, what do we see? Perfunctory public hearings or no hearings at all,” says Solyanik, adding that this culture of not engaging with local communities has become a defining feature of Chinese investment ventures. 

Based on published data and collected observations, the report provides recommendations for China’s oil companies, the Chinese government, Central Asian authorities, and local civil society to build a more inclusive future for the citizens of the region.

The report Road to China: China’s Oil and Gas Ventures in Central Asia. Social and Environmental Impacts can be viewed and downloaded HERE (PDF)

The report executive summary can be viewed and downloaded HERE (PDF).