Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Smart infrastructure is the key to sustainable development

Smart infrastructure is the key to sustainable development

"But as nations set out to reflect these commitments in planning and budget processes, they face difficult choices: coal or renewables? Highways or public transport? Suburban sprawl or compact cities?
And the window for making such choices is narrow. Existing and projected carbon emissions show the urgency of implementing the Paris commitments. But infrastructure projects are time-consuming and long-lasting. Power plants, for example, take from five to 15 years to plan and build and can then last for half a century. And 70% of the forecast increase in emissions from developing countries is expected to come from infrastructure that has yet to be built.
This means that infrastructure decisions we make in the next few years could cement our ability to meet the Paris goals – or condemn us to a future in which global temperatures rise well above 2C. In the latter scenario, environmental conditions could be so hostile that development goes into reverse, leading to rising poverty and social conflict.
Unfortunately, infrastructure planning is largely disconnected from climate change agendas for many governments and the current economic downturn threatens to widen this disconnect."

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