The world will have to invest $90 trillion in sustainable infrastructure by 2030, according to estimates by The New Climate Economy.

Sustainable infrastructure which includes equipment’s and systems that are designed to meet the population’s essential service needs — like roads, bridges, communications network, hydroelectric power stations, etc. — based on all-round sustainable principles, is a must in the fight against climate change. This means the infrastructure is environmentally friendly from end to end, and that includes economic, financial, social and institutional factors.

It is seen that replacing old urban infrastructure for new modern and sustainable elements will make cities more inhabitable and inclusive. The investments are crucial not only to renew old equipment in developed countries and bring them in sync with the fight against climate change, but also to bolster green economic growth in emerging markets and developing countries. This would require a multi-trillion-dollar investment worldwide over the next decade. But if we do things right, it would also see us on the road to economic growth. Source: IDB, https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/sustainable-infrastructure

Sustainable and Green Infrastructure

UN has highlighted that 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from urban areas, most of which are poorly designed, lacking in public transport and consume vast amounts of energy.

Indeed, the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—which supports the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) developed by UN member states—the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction all require investments that deliver climate resilient infrastructure that supports sustainable development.

Among the SDGs, SDG 9 explicitly refers to building resilient infrastructure. However, all the goals are underpinned by infrastructure development. “Infrastructure is really at the centre of the delivery of them SDGs,” says Virginie Marchal, senior policy analyst in the OECD’s Environment Directorate.

Sustainable infrastructure therefore needs to be planned, designed, delivered, managed and decommissioned to minimize its negative impacts and maximize its positive impacts. Great potential is seen in green infrastructure, which can both mitigate the effects of climate change and help society to adapt to climate change through the restoration of wetlands and floodplains or the installation of grass roofs, rain gardens, parks and street plantings in cities. Some of the advantages of sustainable and green infrastructure are shown below:

Reducing our environmental and carbon footprint

Fostering renewables

Creating green employment

Driving green economic growth

Evening out inequalities