THE SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPERATIVE

“The world will invest more in infrastructure over the next 15 years than our entire current stock.”, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate stated in its latest report. The New Climate Economy, the flagship project of the Commission was set up in 2013 to inform governments, businesses and society on how to achieve economic prosperity and development while also addressing climate change.

Last year, the Commission decided to focus on the urgent need to invest in sustainable infrastructure. This 2016 report provides a roadmap to deliver a safe and prosperous future for ourselves and our children. In accomplishing this vision, the report highlights three main challenges: reactivating growth, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and reducing climate risk in line with the Paris Agreement.

To best tackle these challenges, the Commission has identified 4 priority actions. First of all, strengthening policy frameworks and institutional capacities, to build pipelines of viable and sustainable projects. Then, greening the financial system, and increasing financing sources. The third priority is to increase investments in clean technology R&D, reduce the cost of clean technology and enhance accessibility to more sustainable technologies. Finally, the Commission calls to collectively tackle fundamental price distortions and encourage investment and innovation.

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Behind these priorities, is the certainty that there is an opportunity, to support and finance sustainable infrastructure, for climate, but also for growth. Sustainable infrastructure brings together a wide range of fields, including energy, transport, telecommunication, water and sanitation. And leading initiatives are on their way. The new Chinese five-year plan is exceeding its target of a 40-45% reduction in carbon emissions from its 2005 levels by 2020. China could go as far as achieving a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which was made possible thanks to investments ranging up to US$100 billion.

canola-fields-1911392_1920The report also highlights the differences between developed and developing countries, as developed countries look to renew their transport network, and low-income countries still need to develop their energy supply infrastructure. There are also differences in public investment as developing countries fund 60% of infrastructure, as compared to only 40% in advanced economies. This gap could be reduced thanks to Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). These partnerships will be mainly directed to urbanization, as cities gather up to 70% the global demand, but not only. The creation of the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund is one of the best examples. Created to support sustainable agriculture finance solutions in Africa, this fund aims to targets direct investments in agricultural cooperatives or commercial farms.

As supported by this report we believe that investing in sustainable infrastructure will ensure sustainable development for all. This is the key to getting as close as possible to limit global warming to a 2 Celsius degrees’ thanks to limited carbon emissions, insuring in the same time a sustainable future for the next generations,. But this also is a key to achieve the 2030 UN Agenda, by protecting people and improving their environment. Now that the roadmap is created, follow it well at pace!

To learn more about it, please follow : http://newclimateeconomy.report/2016/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/08/NCE_2016Report.pdf

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