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IPW: EU urged to focus on climate action, and development banks collaborate on resilience

01 February 2024

In this week’s Infrastructure Policy Watch, EU must act to reduce carbon emissions, and a renewed global agreement on sustainable development.

IPW: EU urged to focus on climate action, and development banks collaborate on resilience
The EU receives recommendations to achieve its carbon reduction goals. Image credit: Shutterstock

Top climate advisory body says the EU must do more in the face of climate change

The EU’s Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has said the EU will need to up the pace of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Using 80 indicators to assess the EU’s progress, the board unveiled some damning results.

In the board's report, the EU won’t achieve its key carbon emission milestones unless it makes a concerted effort to upscale its activities.

Failing to make essential changes jeopardises the following:

  • meeting the 2030 goal to reduce carbon emissions 55% below 1990 levels
  • achieving net zero by 2050

To make necessary reductions, the board outlined 13 recommendations to ensure the effective design and implementation of the EU climate policy framework.

‘To stay on track, we need to make sure actions today are in line with our long-term goals and to start preparing for even deeper reductions after 2030’, said Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, chair of the board.

Recommendations cut across the following areas:

  • phase out fossil fuel subsidies
  • align energy policy and climate goals
  • further address emissions in agriculture and forestry
  • reassess the impact of climate change on all citizens

The ICE’s view

Monitoring and review are critical for ensuring climate goals are achieved.

Setting out clear milestones enables this, and tangible actions can be recommended.

External bodies such as the EU’s Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change help to boost transparency when it comes to reporting on progress toward achieving global and regional goals.

The ICE’s revised PAS 2080 sets out the standard for managing carbon, setting out guidance for helping to speed up the reduction of carbon emissions in the built environment.

The Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme sets guidelines on how to include reflection and review in the development of infrastructure.

Two development banks deepen collaboration on climate-resilient infrastructure

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group have strengthened their joint effort to boost infrastructure sustainability.

The two development banks signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 22 January 2024, committing to the development of an action plan to boost the development of climate-resilient infrastructure.

‘We have a shared responsibility to leverage our collective resources and expertise to address the most press challenges of our time,’ said Jin Liqun, AIIB’s president.

Core areas covered by the MoU include:

  • strengthening climate-resilient infrastructure
  • reducing the digital infrastructure gap in Asia
  • enabling regional cooperation through cross-border trade and connectivity
  • facilitating joint efforts to scale up the availability of resources

Setting out an action plan to finance the development of resilient infrastructure will lead to improvements across 27 common member countries between the AIIB and IsDB.

The MoU reaffirms collaboration between the two banks after an initial document was signed in 2018.

The ICE’s view

Incorporating a strong focus on sustainability when it comes to financing infrastructure helps national governments to deliver on their objectives.

EBI’s 8 principles outline the value of external financing to deliver on national goals, where sustainability measures need to be incorporated upfront.

It also sets out how countries can look ahead to better understand how to access external financing, and its requirements, as part of a robust strategic planning process.

In case you missed it

  • Find out what experts feel is needed to solve Australia's infrastructure productivity problem.
  • Learn how France’s agile approach to transport planning is boosting sustainability.

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.

  • Dr Kerry Bobbins, head of Enabling Better Infrastructure programme at ICE