Can the world afford to green its infrastructure?

Power, transport, buildings and industry make up over 60% of global emissions. Bringing that figure down will be more challenging for some than for others.

The Leadership Agenda

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Selected countries’ decarbonisation challenge1

  • Higher levels of existing infrastructure to transition to green
  • Lower levels of existing infrastructure to transition to green
Current and future CO2 emissions to abate
Greater capacity to pay Lesser capacity to pay
20 50 80
20 50 80

For countries, where you stand on your capacity to set up much-needed green infrastructure depends on where you sit. Research undertaken by Oxford Economics on behalf of PwC situates a handful of representative countries and regions on a grid. The horizontal axis visualises the level of current and future emissions to abate and the amount of infrastructure countries must decarbonise; the “capacity to pay” axis reflects each country’s or region’s ability to finance such efforts. Although some countries have a steeper hill to climb than others, one thing is clear: the costs of the transition will be high, and hard to quantify. What’s more, policymakers must balance these costs against non-climate-related financial priorities such as economic development, security and healthcare, to say nothing of spreading them fairly across stakeholder groups and shaping infrastructure projects to ensure that revenues repay the public or private investors. For leaders, this data underscores the need to shift their mindset surrounding the investments they make, being mindful of the geographical inequities of the green-infrastructure transition and deploying capital where it’s needed most.

Take an in-depth look at the global infrastructure transition

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Richard Abadie

Richard Abadie

Global Capital Projects and Infrastructure Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7764 235 239

Agnieszka Gajewska

Agnieszka Gajewska

Global Government & Public Sector Leader, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 227 466 131

Will  Jackson-Moore

Will Jackson-Moore

Partner, Global Sustainability Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 07710157908

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