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IPW: Canada strengthens infrastructure planning, and Asia invests millions in climate adaptation

16 May 2023

In this week’s Infrastructure Policy Watch, Canada sets principles for infrastructure delivery, and Asia issues first multi-million-dollar Climate Adaptation Bond.

IPW: Canada strengthens infrastructure planning, and Asia invests millions in climate adaptation
The Future of Infrastructure Group’s set of fundamental principles will enable Canada to meet long-term infrastructure goals. Image credit: Shutterstock

Canada leads the way in infrastructure planning and delivery

Canada’s Future of Infrastructure Group (FIG) has released a report focusing on improving infrastructure planning and delivery across the country’s public sector.

Bringing together industry leaders including Infrastructure Canada, Transport Canada, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the FIG aims to make Canada a global leader in infrastructure governance.

Its latest report outlines seven 'fundamentals’ for a stronger and more competitive infrastructure market:

  1. A long-term infrastructure plan: a 10-year plan that details objectives to deliver long-term economic, social, and environmental goals.
  2. Evidence-based project selection: a transparent approach to selecting projects using evidence and clear, comparable metrics.
  3. Published project pipeline: a publicly available, regularly updated list of planned projects, ideally across all levels of government within a jurisdiction.
  4. Specialist infrastructure agency: a centre of excellence to plan, procure, and/or deliver projects and support other government departments.
  5. Project delivery roadmap: guidance for government project managers to deliver the best results at every stage, from planning to operations and maintenance.
  6. Infrastructure sector charter: a set of commitments to work with industry to create a more innovative, productive, and collaborative infrastructure sector.
  7. Digital commitment: a clear commitment to adopt digital tools at every project stage and leverage the value of data.

It also highlights transparency as a way of encouraging collaboration and learning between different governments to share and build on best practices.

The ICE’s view

We live in a changing world, and planning and prioritising infrastructure can be challenging.

Agility and high-impact decision making can aid the process by breaking down long-term outcomes into a series of manageable short-term activities.

The FIG’s fundamentals will help Canada meet its long-term infrastructure goals while monitoring critical challenges and emerging needs, enabling Canadian policymakers to respond to changing circumstances.

The fundamentals will also strengthen the planning and prioritisation of future infrastructure.

The ICE’s Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme focuses on sharing international best practice to deliver reliable and sustainable national infrastructure.

This involves incorporating learnings across the entire infrastructure lifecycle into policy and decision making frameworks.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank issues its first Climate Adaptation Bond

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AAIB) has raised A$500 million through its first five-year Climate Adaptation Bond.

The bond aims to encourage investment in climate resilient and adaptive infrastructure. Proceeds will be allocated to projects with an estimated adaptation finance portion of 20% or greater of their total financing.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement established the global goal of adaptation, and the AAIB has committed to fully align with the agreement by July 2023.

Climate adaptation financing is about investing in resilience now so that critical infrastructure can continue to protect vulnerable communities from the intensifying effects of climate change in the future.

The ICE’s view

Asia is already experiencing the extreme effects of climate change.

Asia is home to six of the top 10 countries globally that have been most impacted by climate-related disasters in the past 20 years.

Investing in climate resilience is essential to mitigate against the existential threat of climate change. Investors cannot treat it as a ‘nice to have’ once key project outputs have been delivered.

The ICE’s recent paper on climate resilience highlights that planning ahead and investing in resilience and adaptation measures – as the AAIB has done – will strengthen infrastructure systems and protect populations from the extreme effects of climate change.

In case you missed it

Check back in a fortnight for the next edition of the ICE's Infrastructure Policy Watch.

You can also sign up to ICE Informs to get a monthly digest of the latest policy activities from ICE, including calls for evidence to support our ongoing advice to policymakers.

  • Laura Cunliffe-Hall, interim lead policy manager at ICE