State of the World Series

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State of the World Series - Building sustainable communities in a post-Covid world



The world is gradually learning what it means to be sustainable as we march towards achieving the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and approach net zero, but should we simply be adapting our current way of living or thinking about a new way of life? The Covid pandemic has demonstrated that remote working is not just the digital dream of IT professionals and visionaries, but is and can be real life. Do we need cities? Is urbanisation going to continue? Alternatively, should we be looking at the airline industry and the ‘hub and spoke’ model as the future for communities where most activity can happen locally in a more sustainable way via serviced offices, with only occasional visits to major hubs? The world is changing and this State of the World report asks: “are we changing quick enough to match the way communities want to live not only tomorrow, but today?”

 

Tackling the global water crisis



This report is part of our effort to explore how engineers and the wider infrastructure sector can help address the global water crisis.

Water, it falls from the sky, runs in our rivers, fills our lakes, waters our crops and flows through our infrastructure, yet it is more than a monetary product. Yes, having explored the value of water in our second State of the World report, we explore the flip side of this equation. The environment we live in, the pollution that has historically occurred and minimising such pollution in the future, is becoming more important day by day. The SDGs make this clear, but how can industry stand up and lead the way.

 

Establishing the value of water - the business case for change


This report is part of our effort to more broadly communicate ‘state of the world’ issues that engineers can help address.

This report includes a discussion of issues related to the value and pricing of water services, which going forward must meet a very important, delicate and critical balance, between providing services universally to meet the SDGs, improve livelihoods, food, energy, health etc as a necessity but using policy and pricing mechanisms which allow significant investment to take place without pricing people, towns, areas or even regions out of vital services. We also note issues related to the financial and social costs of our water challenges which are not routinely ‘priced’.

 

Time to $Tn-vest



Covid is probably the greatest challenge the world currently faces. Expenditure on support mechanisms has been significant and just as infrastructure was recovering from the last financial crisis there is potential for further turmoil.

The infrastructure sector, whilst being a catalyst for growth and producing positive economic effects, may have to face head-on the realism of the investment challenge at potentially even more constrained times.

The cost of these crises is significant and we need to meet these challenges. It is, therefore, Time To Take The Trillion Task seriously - yes one T for every $trillion of investment that is estimated to be needed as a minimum to meet the SDG requirements. It is truly Time to $Tn-vest!

 

 

Partners of the State of the World Series


The Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership was started by UNEP in 2018 as a platform to promote and support integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure planning and development, this recognizes the centrality of infrastructure to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, including FIDIC, the SIP provides knowledge, facilitates international collaboration, and supports capacity building at the country-level to foster systems-level approaches, which more fully exploit the complex interlinkages between infrastructure and the SDGs.

UNEP will in February launch the Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure and a collection of illustrative case studies and therefore is glad to support FIDICs State of the World program going forward as we both aim to help governments adopt integrated approaches to sustainable infrastructure.