This document written by the Inter-American Development Bank presents a framework for both public and private sectors to support planning, designing, and financing of infrastructure that is economically, financially, socially, environmentally, and institutionally sustainable. This document is intended to generate discussion amongst key stakeholders and serve as a basis for research and experimentation within the IDB and with clients; it should be considered as a working document. This framework forms the basis of the IDB Group working definition of sustainable infrastructure as “infrastructure projects that are planned, designed, constructed, operated, and decommissioned in a manner to ensure economic and financial, social, environmental (including climate resilience), and institutional sustainability over the entire life cycle of the project.”

The report recommends the following Upstream Institutional Actions to enable delivery of Sustainable Infrastructure for environmental sustainability, including climate resilience:

“Projects should be consistent with national and sectoral infrastructure strategies and incentives designed for decarbonization. Governments should establish national, regional, and sectoral plans for climate resilience and adaptation. They should also establish national, regional, and sectoral institutional frameworks and strategies for disaster risk management and for managing air pollutant emissions. Governments should establish standards and strategies for durability, flexibility, and recovery of infrastructure systems. National requirements for project design should include systems optimization to minimize water contamination. Governments should establish and implement national and subnational soil and other pollution management systems. They should develop national and regional plans for biodiversity and ecosystem services management and ecological connectivity while also establishing institutional mechanisms to preserve natural areas, areas with high ecological values, and farmlands. National institutional frameworks should effectively manage soils and water resources. National, regional, and sectoral plans should address the management of invasive species and the efficient use of material resources, should drive the sustainable use of energy resources, and should ensure sustainable waste management. (See International Hydropower Association, 2010; Quintero, 2012; Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure of the Graduate School of Design Harvard University, 2012; World Bank Group, 2014; Serebrisky, 2014; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development et al,. 2015; Bhattacharya et al., 2016; Egler and Frazao, 2016; Qureshi, 2016; US Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration, 2017; Global Infrastructure Basel, 2017; CEEQUAL Ltd, 2017; EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, 2017; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2017c; Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, 2017.)”

The report includes the following recommendations towards using financing to drive the Sustainable Infrastructure Transformation for environmental sustainability, including climate resilience:

“Projects to be financed should include life-cycle carbon assessment and a management plan for net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Projects should assess climate change and disaster risks systematically. They should include a durability, flexibility, and recovery plan. Projects should include management plans for air pollution, for adverse impacts on human health and the environment, for adverse impacts from pollution and contamination, for accident prevention, and for environmental management—including pre-existing liabilities, soils, water resources, materials use, energy use, waste, and hazardous materials. (See Inter-American Development Bank, 2006a and 2007; Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure of the Graduate School of Design Harvard University, 2012; International Finance Corporation, 2012; Véron-Okamoto and Sakamoto, 2014; Bhattacharya et al., 2016; Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, 2017; US Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration, 2017; International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2017; International Finance Corporation, 2017.)”

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