The Policy Initiative on Sustainable Infrastructure brings together EPF member think tanks with the objective of supporting effective, sustainable infrastructure policy-making in emerging economies. Infrastructure is an essential component of economic development, poverty reduction and prosperity, especially in low and middle income countries. An inadequate supply of transport, water and energy networks, a lack of basic health and sanitation infrastructure, and unsatisfactory communications networks all affect the well-being of millions of people.
Whereas investment-driven solutions to infrastructure have traditionally played a preeminent role, this Policy Initiative seeks to define sustainable development pathways that include parameters of human well-being, the environment and climate alongside GDP growth figures. To this end, EPF members are formulating policy recommendations on how infrastructure development projects could encompass (1) economic viability, contributing to economic growth and job creation as well as being fiscally viable, (2) environmental protection, maintaining the integrity of eco-systems, using resources efficiently and ensuring low-carbon, climate-resilient construction and operation processes, and (3) social inclusiveness, contributing to poverty alleviation and targeting the needs of the population.
The Policy Initiative was launched at the EPF Think Week, in Beijing in November 2015. Concept notes for joint policy papers have been developed on the following three themes:
- Effective Indicators and Measurement of Sustainability in Infrastructure (lead: Africa Institute of South Africa – Human Science Research Council (AISA-HSRC))
- Translating Sustainability Guidelines and Standards into Business and Policy Practice (lead: Fundação Getulio Vargas – Center for Sustainability Studies FGV/GVces)
- The Role of Multilateral and National Development Banks in Sustainable Infrastructure (lead: World Resources Institut (WRI))
First policy impulses were fed into the G20 think tank engagement group Think20 (T20) at the T20 kick-off meeting of the Chinese G20 presidency in December 2015, as well as at a T20 meeting in Lima in April 2016. Preliminary findings and recommendations were also discussed at the EPF-IISD Roundtable in June 2016.
- Launch of Policy Initiative
Policy Initiative on Sustainable Infrastructure launched at Think Week 2015 in Beijing. A concept note for joint policy papers with the definition of research questions, methodology, and work streams developed.
- Peer-review of Draft Working Papers
Preliminary findings and recommendations were discussed at an EPF roundtable in Geneva in June 2016.
- Discussion of policy recommendations
Findings and policy recommendations were further discussed at a Roundtable on Sustainable Infrastructure and the joint workshop with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) “Workshop on Sustainable Infrastructure – Convening the Conveners”.
- Release of policy papers
Policy papers on Challenges and Opportunities in Evaluating Sustainable Infrastructure and Renewable Energy and Multilateral Development Banks were released.
- Integration into International Reform Processes
After the successful integration of preliminary results into G20 and BRICS 2016, policy recommendations were also fed into G20 in Germany 2017 through the panel discussion “Driving the Business Case for Sustainable Infrastructure” and a back-to-back event at the T20 summit in Berlin.
- Integration into National Reform Processes
Policy papers are presented and discussed in reform dialogues.
Members of the Policy Initiative:
Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo A.C. (CIDAC)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Initiatives for Sustainable Development (ISD)