$7 trillion a year needed to fight climate change and Covid-19

By - World Infrastructure Journal

$7 trillion a year needed to fight climate change and Covid-19

A new report by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has found that global infrastructure could require at least $7 trillion of spending every year if the world is to address the growing climate emergency and recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ‘Time to $Tn-vest’ report, recommends doubling global infrastructure investment to at least $7 trillion as part of a global effort to fight climate change. It stated that if pressure on the climate is not reduced or this investment is not made, then the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be met. The FIDIC also predicts that without this increased funding, making a full economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will not be achievable.

The report highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact, combined with the continued lack of investment to meet current infrastructure needs, has created “the challenge of all challenges” for the world. “Never has the infrastructure sector faced such an extreme set of challenges concurrently. There is no longer just a gap of trillions of dollars in investment for current needs, but trillions more is needed to meet the SDGs and further trillions to repair and stimulate the economy following the impact of Covid,” the report said.

Tracey Ryan, Managing Director of Aurecon, New Zealand, said: “The trillion-dollar infrastructure challenge has opportunity written all over it. As an industry, we have an amazing opportunity to shift the dial on sustainability by directing the investment towards more sustainable infrastructure solutions. For the engineering industry, we need to rise to the challenge. We need to dream, we need to believe, we need to push to make our voices heard and be creative with solutions that drive a better future. It’s all within our hands, and we need to grasp the opportunity for the sake of future generations. ”

The report makes three key recommendations: -

  1. A renewed global effort to improve infrastructure spending to meet the investment challenge facing the world.
  2. Create global financial mechanisms to support sustainable investment and end all carbon intensive investments and the burning of fossil fuels.
  3. Improve yearly global monitoring to ensure that infrastructure investment and maintenance spending is actually being undertaken in a sustainable way to meet the gap caused by years of underinvestment.

Speaking at the launch of the report, FIDIC Chief Executive, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, said:“Given the scale of the challenge we face and what will be needed to address it, FIDIC will not only continue to work in partnership with the international multilateral development banks, but increasingly also with global sovereign wealth funds and private investors to ensure that both the financing and funding requirements are available to make the necessary sustainable investment in global infrastructure and to ensure that this investment is maintained for the long term.

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