Investment in Green Infrastructure: Paving the Way to the Private Sector
It is now an established fact that investment in infrastructure is considered as a driver for economic growth. It acts through different channels. In the short run, the construction phase of any projects often implies the direct creation of new jobs and an indirect creation of on peripheral sectors, as a result of a rise in the sectoral activity. In the long run, sound infrastructure drives up potential growth by reducing input costs, facilitates regional integration and the efficiency of trade in goods.
According to the latest estimates by the Global Infrastructure Hub, global investment in infrastructure is around $79 trillion while the investment needs are around $94 trillion. In the current state of affairs, the public sector remains the major investor in infrastructure and while the private sector involvement has been increasing, it is still far from the desired level that would close the $15 trillion funding gap. On the African continent, this gap is estimated at $68 to $108 billion dollars according to estimates by the African Development Bank. Energy, Water and Sanitation, and Transport are the main sectors where the resilient infrastructure are most needed, in order to provide high quality basic services such as electricity and water distribution.
Furthermore, the current crisis related to COVID-19 as well as to the climate risks that the world is facing are calling for an approach to infrastructure based on objectives of sustainability. According to the C40, which regroups the main megacities around the world, urban centers account for 70% of the world’s Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions, with none less than 21% related to infrastructure and construction. The world is facing a momentum to act a shift in the paradigm of infrastructure building towards resilient green infrastructure.
However, reaching these objectives requires diversifying the structure of financing by enhancing the participation of the private sector. The generalization of green infrastructure as an asset class will depend on reforming the general framework of implementation of PPP projects by including the appropriate risk mitigation tools and the buffers that ensure a steady and sustainable return on investment. Moreover, the governance of these institutional designs matters also to ensure the credibility of the partnerships between both sectors. With an increasing trend towards decentralization, implementation will also need to be decentralized to act at the local level and target the specific needs of urban centers.
In this perspective, the Policy Center for the New South and Istituto Affari Internazionali are pleased to host an online panel to discuss ways to enhance the private sector’s involvement in green infrastructure on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 at 15:00 GMT+1.Keep me informed
Shamshad Akhtar, Former Minister of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank of Pakistan
Dr Shamshad Akhtar served as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and Finance Minister in the last caretaker Government. She has served in several multilateral institutions: at United Nations she served as the Under Secretary General of the Economic and Social Commission of the Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and Senior Special Advisor on Economics and Finance of UN Secretary General and concurrently served for five years as UN G20 Sherpa for development and finance tracks. At UN she worked on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, Addis Ababa Financing, and the Paris Climate Accord.
Dr. Akhtar served as the Vice President, Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, Senior Special Advisor to the President of ADB and prior to that was Director General of Asian Development.
Dr. Akhtar is recipient of Asia's Best Central Bank Governor from Emerging Markets and the Banker’s Trust awards. In 2008, The WALL STREET JOURNAL ASIA recognized her as one of Asia’s top ten professional women.
She is a Post-Doctoral Fulbright Fellow from Harvard University and Phd in Economics.
Rim Berahab, Economist, Policy Center for the New South
Otaviano Canuto, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South
Franco Passacantando, Scientific Advisor, Istituto Affari Internazionali
Franco Passacantando is scientific advisor at IAI, senior fellow at the LUISS School of European Political Economy in Rome, and board member in some Italian and international private companies. He held several positions at the Bank of Italy, including that of Head of the Monetary Sector of the Research Department and of Managing Director in charge of relations with international institutions. From 1995 to 2013 he was Executive Director at the World Bank and from 2013 to 2018 Expert Member of the Board of the European Investment Bank.
He has a degree in Statistics from La Sapienza University of Rome and a Master of Arts in Economics from Stanford University.
Miguel Vazquez Martinez, Senior Affiliate at SDA School of Management, Bocconi University
Miguel Vazquez is currently Principal Research Affiliate at SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan), professor at the European University Institute (Florence), and advisor in innovation and market design at the Florence School of Regulation. He is also a senior consultant at Correa / Souto Law Practice (Rio de Janeiro), and he regularly speaks at international conferences. Miguel Vazques advised governments, regulatory authorities, public services, industrial associations and multilateral institutions on issues relating to industries gas and electricity in Europe, Latin America, the United States and Asia. He is an electrical engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Comillas University in Madrid.