Pakistan makes case for infrastructural development to achieve SDGs

UNITED NATIONS   -   Pakistan has called for the development of infrastructure connectivity to fortify global resilience and promote sustainable development, especially in developing countries. Ambassador Munir Akram made the call in his capacity as co-chair of the Group of Friends of Sustainable Infrastructure Investment, while delivering a statement during the U.N, General Assembly’s Sustainability Week in New York,  on the theme: “Informal dialogue on building global resilience and promoting sustainable development through infrastructure connectivity.”

 “The achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and our climate goals requires a major transition to sustainable infrastructure – in energy, transport, housing, communications and industrial and agricultural production and consumption,” the Pakistani envoy said, noting that this was recognized in the ‘Just Energy Transition’ document adopted at COP-28.

“Yet,” he said, “public and private investments in sustainable infrastructure are not commensurate to realize either the SDGs or the climate goals, pointing out that a majority of developing countries do not have the public resources to finance infrastructure investments nor are they able to secure sufficient private investment.

To achieve a ‘just transition’, he called for mobilizing significantly larger concessional finance to mitigate country and project risks, enhance credit quality, improve financing terms and thus incentivize private infrastructure investment in the developing countries.

In this regard, Ambassador Akram cited the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which said there was a funding gap of $2.5 trillion annually in infrastructure, two-thirds of which is in the developing countries.

“Cumulatively, for a 1. 5°C Scenario, financing needs for clean energy are estimated to be about USD 4.3 trillion per year up until 2030, increasing thereafter to USD 5 trillion per year up until 2050,” he said, pointing out that investment in renewable energy only reached USD 0.5 trillion in 2022, the majority concentrated in developed countries.

The Pakistani envoy also underscored the need to create a pipeline of viable and bankable projects in the developing countries which can attract public and private investments.

Pakistan, he said,  advocates the establishment of a public-private entity under UN auspices to help developing countries formulate and structure such a pipeline of viable infrastructure projects utilizing the UN country offices.

“Such a public private entity could bring together all stakeholders – recipient and donor countries, development institutions and the private sector; develop a template for national and international regulatory frameworks and develop de-risking measures to incentivize private investment in developing countries and present the projects for financing to the appropriate public and private sources of investment capital.”

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt