Pakistan advocates infrastructural development to achieve the SDGs

UNITED NATIONS, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – April 21, 2024) Pakistan has called for the development of infrastructure connectivity to strengthen 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 at the UN General Assembly Sustainability Week in New York on the theme: “Informal dialogue on building global resilience and promoting sustainable development through infrastructure connectivity.”

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

“Yet,” he said, “public and private investments in sustainable infrastructure are disproportionate to achieving the SDGs or climate goals. He points 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 greater concessional financing to reduce country and project risks, improve credit quality, improve financing conditions and thus stimulate private investment in infrastructure in the developing world.

In this context, Ambassador Akram quoted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which said that there is an annual infrastructure financing gap of $2.5 trillion, two-thirds of which is in developing countries.

“Cumulatively, clean energy financing needs for a 1.5°C scenario are estimated at approximately $4.3 trillion per year until 2030, then increasing to $5 trillion per year until 2050,” he said, noting that the investments in renewable energy amounted to only $0.5 trillion in 2022, most of which was concentrated in developed countries.

The Pakistani envoy also underlined the need to create a pipeline of viable and bankable projects in the developing world that can attract public and private investments.

Pakistan, he said, is advocating the creation of a public-private entity under the auspices of the UN 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; be able to develop a template for national and international regulatory frameworks and risk mitigation measures to stimulate private investment in developing countries and present the projects for financing to the appropriate public and private sources of investment capital.”