Sustainable Infrastructure

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.

After releasing two policy papers on Challenges and Opportunities in Evaluating Sustainable Infrastructure and Renewable Energy and Multilateral Development Banks , the findings and recommendations have been carried on to the German G20 Presidency and recommendations have been fed into the T20 Engagement process through the panel discussion “Driving the Business Case for Sustainable Infrastructure” and a back-to-back event at the T20 summit “Global Solutions” in Berlin.

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)
Brookings Institution
Initiatives for Sustainable Development (ISD)

EPF | Economic Policy Forum

EPF | Economic Policy Forum