US President Biden, European Commission President Von Der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Johnson announce commitment to tackle climate crisis through infrastructure development
Building on the commitment made in June 2021 by G7 leaders to launch a transparent, high-quality and values-driven infrastructure partnership to meet global infrastructure development needs, US President Biden and President of the European Commission von der Leyen organized a discussion on the sidelines of COP26 with British Prime Minister Johnson, Barbadian Prime Minister Mottley, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, Colombian President Duque, Ecuadorian President Lasso, President of the Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Tshisekedi, Indian Prime Minister Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and Nigerian President Buhari on how infrastructure initiatives must simultaneously advance prosperity and tackle the climate crisis, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and to the Paris Agreement. Global leaders discussed how the Build Back Better World, Global Gateway and Clean Green initiatives will jumpstart investment, refocus attention and mobilize resources to meet critical infrastructure needs to support economic growth, while ensuring that this infrastructure is clean, resilient and consistent with a net-zero future. President Lasso, Prime Minister Modi, President Buhari and President Duque shared their views on the challenges their countries have already faced with infrastructure development and the principles they would like to see in future initiatives for ‘infrastructure. UN Special Envoy for Climate Finance and Action Mark Carney and World Bank Group President David Malpass spoke of the imperative to mobilize investments from the private sector, financial institutions international organizations and multilateral development banks, including through national platforms, to achieve these goals.
President Biden, President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson have endorsed five key principles for infrastructure development:
1. Infrastructure must be climate resilient and developed with a climate lens.
We commit to building resilient, low-carbon and zero-carbon infrastructure systems that are aligned with the pathways to net zero emissions by 2050, which are necessary to maintain the goal of limiting change in the economy. global average temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius at your fingertips. In addition, we are committed to considering all projects carried out within the framework of infrastructure development partnerships from the perspective of climate change.
2. Strong and inclusive partnerships between host countries, support from developed countries and the private sector are essential for the development of sustainable infrastructure.
Infrastructure designed, financed and built in partnership with those who benefit from it will last longer, be more inclusive and generate greater and more sustainable development impacts. We will consult with stakeholders, including representatives of civil society, governments, NGOs and the private sector to better understand their development priorities and needs.
3. Infrastructure must be financed, constructed, developed, operated and maintained to high standards.
We commit to high standards for infrastructure investment, promoting the implementation of the G20 principles for quality infrastructure investment as a benchmark. Environmental, social and governance standards help guard against corruption and other forms of corruption; mitigate climate risks and the risks of ecosystem degradation; promote the transfer of skills and preserve labor protections; avoid unsustainable costs for taxpayers; and, above all, promote long-term economic and social benefits for partner countries.
4. A new climate finance paradigm, spanning both public and private sources, is needed to mobilize the trillions needed to reach net zero by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
The world must mobilize and align the trillions of dollars of capital over the next three decades to achieve net zero by 2050, the majority of which will be needed in developing and emerging economies. Raising capital on this scale requires a collaborative effort on the part of all of us, including governments, the private sector, and development finance institutions, as well as better mechanisms to match funding and technical assistance to national projects, including through national partnerships.
5.The development of climate-smart infrastructure should play an important role in economic recovery and the creation of sustainable jobs.
Investments in infrastructure are also expected to boost job creation and support an inclusive economic recovery. We believe that our collective efforts to tackle the climate crisis may present the greatest economic opportunity of our time: the opportunity to build the industries of the future through equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic development around the world.
President Biden, European Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson called on countries around the world to make similar commitments and take action to spur a global transformation towards reliable and climate-smart infrastructure.