The Sustainable Infrastructure Financing Summit 2012, held 21–22 February in Basel, Switzerland, brought together more than 300 leading finance institutions, regulators, city officials and infrastructure developers from around the world to assess policy options enhance more sustainable infrastructure, and to review innovative infrastructure projects.
Population growth, climate change and urbanization pose paramount challenges, and some 20 trillion of infrastructure investment are required by 2030 only to meet the direct needs arising from these challenges in the cities of developed world. By 2050, two-thirds of the global population will live in the cities, where already today most of the carbon emissions are produced.
“The key to success is project innovation and its financing. At the same time, investors and construction companies need to be informed about the advantages of sustainable infrastructure”, says Daniel Wiener, Chairman of the Global Energy Basel Foundation.
The two-day exchange at GEB provided the opportunity to narrow the distance between innovative infrastructure projects and potential financing. While interesting European infrastructure solutions were displayed, the strong population and economic growth in Asia, Africa and Latin America were clearly demonstrated. The Asian region is the crucial player on the path to sustainable infrastructure. There are several megaprojects in Chinese cities, and China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) has a massive global agenda on infrastructure projects – in 2011 only, CHINCA’s member companies implemented international infrastructure projects worth of 590 billion USD. Dialogue with the investors, sustainability solution providers and CHINCA was one of the highlights of the GEB.
Gaia contributed actively to the preparations of GEB and presented new emerging sustainability issues. In particular, Gaia highlighted the climate, infrastructure and political developments in the Arctic region, as well as presented some of the interesting phenomena around mining and mineral industry developments. The current increase in human activity in the Arctic is placing new demands on Arctic infrastructure needed to support safe marine shipping, protect the environment and respond to emergencies
“Arctic is the New Black. The Arctic is probably the tipping point in terms of global warming and extremely vulnerable environment. It hosts the world’s largest undiscovered oil and gas reserves, fisheries, minerals, and opens new opportunities such as shipping routes and tourism. All this has made the Arctic one of the new geo-political hotspots. Looking only at the on-going mega-development projects, Arctic makes us ask what is a just balance between powers and interest of local companies and multinational corporations, local population, indigenous peoples, national governments, regional governance structure such as the Arctic Council, and the international community“, says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia.
“As a strategic and forward-thinking partner of GEB, Gaia supported Sustainable Infrastructure Conference in establishing stronger partnerships into the Nordic countries. The conference participants also appreciated Gaia’s input on the Artic zone as an emerging topic on which GEB will focus in the next conference to come“, Daniel Wiener says.
For further information:
- Alain Schilli, CEO, Gaia Global SA, tel +41-79-349 6361, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia Group, tel. +41-79-472 6909, email@example.com
- Internet: www.globalenergybasel.org