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Low-carbon infrastructure

Countries are now facing a fundamental choice: the type of infrastructure investments they make will either support or seriously undermine future global well-being.

As well as being a source of growth, infrastructure investment is a key determinant of future GHG emissions and resource efficiency, both directly (for example,
through the type of power plants installed) and indirectly, by influencing behaviours (for example, through transport systems and urban planning).

The window for making the right choices is uncomfortably narrow. The lifespans of much infrastructure and related physical investment means that future GHG emissions are going to be locked in by investment choices in the next decade, as infrastructure needs expand with the world economy.

While investing in new and improved infrastructure is an important part of getting growth going now, investing in the right kind of infrastructure will deliver growth that can last. To manage climate risks and deliver long-term sustainable growth, infrastructure investment needs to be low-emission, energy-efficient and climate-resilient. For example, the global cement industry generates approximately 8 percent of global CO2 emissions. Investments in new ways of making cement and alternatives to cement can reduce those GHG emissions dramatically.

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