Financing Climate Futures

Rethinking Infrastructure

image of Financing Climate Futures

Infrastructure worldwide has suffered from chronic under-investment for decades and currently makes up more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. A deep transformation of existing infrastructure systems is needed for both climate and development, one that includes systemic conceptual and behavioural changes in the ways in which we manage and govern our societies and economies. This report is a joint effort by the OECD, UN Environment and the World Bank Group, supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. It focuses on how governments can move beyond the current incremental approach to climate action and more effectively align financial flows with climate and development priorities. The report explores six key transformative areas that will be critical to align financial flows with low-emission and resilient societies (planning, innovation, public budgeting, financial systems, development finance, and cities) and looks at how rapid socio-economic and technological developments, such as digitalisation, can open new pathways to low-emission, resilient futures.


Climate, infrastructure and finance: An agenda for transformation

Aligning financial flows with low-emission, resilient infrastructure is essential to deliver climate and development objectives. Infrastructure underpins economic growth, productivity and well-being. A fundamental transformation of existing infrastructure systems is needed to meet the scale and urgency of climate action. Getting investment and climate policy right is a necessary condition of success, but it is not enough. Existing policy frameworks, institutions and economic incentives encourage incremental changes. Only systemic change will disrupt institutional inertia and vested interests that slow the pace of change in climate and development policy. This chapter contains an extended synthesis of the report, laying out the agenda for governments to move away from incremental progress on climate change to deliver the transformation needed. It highlights why and how action across six transformative areas – planning, innovation, public budgeting, financial systems, development finance and cities – can help align financial flows with climate and development goals.



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