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Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) hosts a session on ‘Post-Pandemic Recovery: Can there be an Infrastructure Resilience Dividend?’ at COP26

Press Release
01/11/2021

The session was held on 1 November 2021 at 1530-1645 GMT at COP26, Glasgow, United Kingdom

- The session discussed global policy perspectives on accelerating financing and financial protection for climate and disaster resilient infrastructure in the context of post-Covid-19 recovery

New Delhi, 1 November 2021: The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in partnership with Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) and InsuResilience Global Partnership (IGP), today, hosted a session on ‘Post-pandemic Recovery: Can there be an Infrastructure Resilience Dividend?’ at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The session explored policy challenges, social dimensions and governance considerations to financing resilient infrastructure and to leveraging the potential of the public and private sector working together.

The session was moderated by Ms. Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, The United Kingdom, while the panelists included Mr. Kamal Kishore, Member Secretary India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Indian Co-Chair of CDRI Executive Committee; Mrs. Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, Govt. of Germany; Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank; Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, Ghana; and Mr. John Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson.

Talking about India’s National Infrastructure Pipeline, Kamal Kishore, Member Secretary India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Indian Co-Chair of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) Executive Committee said, “The whole emphasis of the Government of India, our Prime Minister, is to really make the infrastructure story people centric, inclusive. We don’t want to count how many thousand kms of roads we have built; what we want to count is how many jobs those roads have created. How many people have got better access to markets as a result of that. We really can’t do it sector by sector, asset by asset. The next uniqueness is to look at it multi-sectorial. How you look at multiple transportation sectors, investment in rail; we have a large programme called Gati Shakti which is a connectivity infrastructure, but also link that in energy systems, both traditional as well as renewable energy systems, telecom networks, and social infrastructure as well. How you make it more inter-sectorial and look at it from a systemic perspective.”

Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, Govt. of Germany stressed on the importance of resilient infrastructure and how we cannot overcome global climate change without making infrastructure stronger. “Despite the pandemic, we must not forget that climate change crisis still exists. And we need to build resilience at all levels. And how important is disaster preparedness as Germany has just witnessed. CDRI is a milestone initiative that shines the spotlight on this crucial topic. We cannot overcome this global climate change all of us are facing without making our infrastructure more resilient. As we reach a turning point, we must find opportunities in green. We cannot overcome global climate change without making infrastructure stronger.”

Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank talked about the importance of investments in resilient infrastructure and how can developing countries be helped. He called on the private sector to be involved since the task is massive. Axel said, “We need to have regular frameworks being adjusted and incentives and nobody can do it alone. We can only do it together. We need to get the private sector in. We need massive investments. We are going to increase investments from US$83 billion to a US$125 billion for the next five years. And we need to have financing instruments available in times of a disaster. The challenge is to get better and mobilize resources especially in low-income countries.”

Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, Government of Ghana talked about the growing youth population of Africa and the need to digitize the economy. He further stressed on the importance of multiplication of resources and how we look at financing and its importance for global prosperity.

John Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson talked about the need for real collaboration and practical collaboration between agents, governments, industries, and sectors to have a mechanism for resilient investment. He said, “Physical climate risk and the advantage of resilient decision making is just not recognized properly because we don’t have the information or the analytical tools to do that. We need to address this. Investors are important because if investors are going to insist on the right kind of standards and the right kind of decisions being made, then we know its going to happen in practice.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in traditional infrastructure globally was experiencing a funding gap of $2.5 to 3 trillion per annum. This gap has become wider due to fiscal costs incurred by governments in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in developing countries. Economic recovery packages in the context of COVID-19 provide a great opportunity to scale up finance for infrastructure investments in alignment with climate adaptation targets, promoting resilient recovery and long-term developmental gains. However, the public sector, especially in developing countries, cannot cater to the huge demands of infrastructure investments alone. This will take vision, innovation, governments, the private sector and other actors – united under multi-stakeholder partnerships such as CDRI, IGP and CCRI - to address the task at hand.

About CDRI:

Launched by Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Action Summit at New York on 23 September 2019, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions that aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.

CDRI promotes rapid development of resilient infrastructure to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals’ imperatives of expanding universal access to basic services, enabling prosperity and decent work.