The present study investigated impact of energy and economy related variables on CO2 emissions in 49 countries of belt and road initiative from 1995–2018. The robust type of cross-section dependence and heterogeneity methods were adopted to analyze data set of countries. Energy consumption, foreign direct investment, medium and high-tech industry, and GDP has been found highly unfavorable for the ecological health (CO2 emissions) in 49 nations on BRI panel. However, renewable energy consumption has been found in positive correlation with environmental quality (CO2). Financial development indicator has no significant impact on CO2 emissions in present study. The present outcomes clearly claim strong relationship of economic growth and energy with increased CO2 emissions in 49 nations. Therefore, it is important for policy makers, experts and governments to incentivize and appreciate portfolio investors for sustainable green investments to transform the economic growth into a sustainable and energy efficient development.