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Shifting the Lens is one part of the broader Financing Climate Futures initiative focusing on the identification of critical uncertainties posing constraints to aligning financial flows with climate objectives and in particular infrastructure investment. Adopting a foresight and scenarios approach, this part of the overall initiative seeks to offer insights into ways to overcome barriers and secure the realignment needed.
It examines the critical uncertainties that influence the selection, design, procurement, deployment and related financing decisions for climate-compatible infrastructure. Seven areas of critical uncertainties have been identified, focused on the impacts of: (a) climate change itself; (b) shifts in the economic and geopolitical features of globalization; (c) the technological intensification and digitization of infrastructure; (d) new economic, business and financing models such as the shared and circular economy and rentalization; (e) new forms of citizen engagement; (f) changes to the financial system; and (g) economic downturns and external shocks.
The briefing has been developed by UN Environment, with key contributions from the OECD, the World Bank Group, and Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The final report will be launched during 2018. Comments on this briefing can be made to .
The OECD, UN Environment and the World Bank Group have joined forces under a new initiative – Financing Climate Futures: Rethinking Infrastructure. The initiative explores what public and private actors should do to trigger the radical transformation needed to align financial flows in infrastructure for a low-emission, resilient development.
The initiative, supported by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), stems from the 2017 G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan, which called on the three organisations to “compile ongoing public and private activities within the G20 for making financial flows consistent with the Paris goals and, building on this, to analyse potential opportunities for strengthening these efforts”.
Building climate-compatible infrastructure is a cornerstone for the success of the Paris Agreement and broader sustainability goals, and we have seen encouraging momentum in this direction. But we need to start making real change happen. Only sustainable infrastructure can deliver huge benefits to people and the planet. To encourage the capital allocation that will unlock this promise, however, we need new thinking. This report presents some of the steps we can take to make this change.Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment