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Affordable and reliable access to infrastructure is critical for development, with major implications for health, education, social mobility, firm productivity, climate change, energy, forests and biodiversity. But access alone is not enough. What we really need is sustainable infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure will provide the services and foundation for growth that are needed to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity – but to get there, we must substantially increase financing for infrastructure in the developing world.
Robert C. Brears, author of The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, discusses innovative policies that create positive interdependencies and synergies across and between the nexus sectors while reducing trade-offs in the development of a green economy.
This Q&A with Alexander Pfeiffer, PhD candidate at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, provides a snapshot of the paper that he will be presenting at the Fifth GGKP Annual Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure, hosted by the World Bank in November 2017.

According to the International Energy Agency, world energy consumption is expected to grow by one-third to 2040, primarily in non-OECD countries such as China and India (IEA, 2015). Growing populations and rising incomes will place added pressure on the current energy system.

With fossil fuels still dominating the global energy mix, communities, businesses, and national governments are confronted by the energy tri-lemma: assuring energy security, combating climate change by reducing emissions, and addressing energy poverty (World Energy Council, 2016). To help address this, the Clean Energy Solutions Center provides no-cost expert assistance on clean energy policy to representatives of government agencies and to technical institutes supporting them.

Relevance to SDGs

In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, there is a global movement to address these challenges by substantially increasing investment in renewable energy technologies and implementation, doubling the rate of improvement to energy efficiency, and changing user behaviours, with the aim to achieve absolute decoupling between energy consumption and economic growth.

Explore green growth resources related to SDG 7:

SDG 7.2
Renewable Energy
   SDG 7.3
Energy Efficiency
   SDG 7.a
      Energy R&D      


Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and the Just Transition
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI), The Green Initiative
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Best Practices

Low Emissions Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Learning Products

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS)
Renewable Energy Academy (RENAC), Green Budget Germany
Strathclyde University, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)