A new platform for growth: building green infrastructure

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels
March 9, 2021

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Against the dark background of the pandemic, there are signs that the world may soon renew its journey towards a more environmentally sustainable future. The election of Joe Biden in the US promises to reverse the USA’s shift towards climate scepticism. Green technologies lie at the heart of many countries’ economic recovery plans. Public pressure for action continues to rise. And in November, the UN’s COP26 conference will provide an opportunity to revive international collaboration on climate change.

But with many of the low-hanging fruit already picked, further progress will demand concerted government action to create the necessary infrastructure. Electrifying rail and road transport, for example, demands vast new distribution systems; national grids need refitting around the needs of renewable and local generation; domestic heating and insulation changes will be needed in almost every home.

Bringing together public service leaders and relevant experts from around the world, this GGF webinar explored how governments can build the infrastructure required to support green business growth, reduce pollution and decarbonise their economies. Which tax and subsidies regimes drive progress most rapidly? How should spatial planning systems, regulatory regimes and industrial strategies change to boost sustainable sectors? And how should the social and economic changes driven by the pandemic affect decisions about green infrastructure investments?

Global action on climate change had stalled long before the pandemic struck. This event explored how governments can create the infrastructure to succeed as the sustainability show gets back on the road.


Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.

Ivo Jaanisoo, Head of Department of Construction and Housing, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia

Ivo Jaanisoo is the Head of Construction and Housing Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia. Ivo’s in charge of construction policy of Estonia with the following responsibility areas: construction strategy and regulation, sustainability, digitalisation and housing. The government of Estonia emphasizes the role of construction in advancing the economy towards higher energy and resource efficiency; better accessibility, health impact and overall built environment quality. Construction policy should aim at reducing regional disparities. Ivo has a background of prefabricated construction design and construction management.

Anna Pasková, Director of Department of Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development, Ministry of the Environment, Czech Republic

Anna Pasková, M.A. is Director of Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development Department at the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic. She has worked in the field of environmental policy, sustainablity for more than 12 years. Currently she is responsible for Agenda 2030 and its implementation, the State Environmental Policy and the National Adaptation Plan implementation. Anna is also involved in the agenda of RRF plans, clean mobility transition and light pollution. Previously she has gained experiences at the State Environmental Fund, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability or at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Anna graduated from the United Nations mandated University for Peace, Environmental Security Master’s Programme.

Dr Kim Yates, UK & Europe Sustainability and Climate Change Lead, Mott MacDonald

Kim is a Director-level sustainability and carbon professional with over 25 years’ experience gathered both in the UK and internationally. She understands sustainability best practice, climate change and carbon issues and actively promotes sustainability, climate change, and the net zero agenda in the built environment. She has a proven track-record in the development and implementation of international best practice and is an experienced team leader and project director for complex projects.

Kim researched and developed Mott MacDonald’s innovative Moata Carbon Portal, a web-based BIM enabled carbon calculation tool for infrastructure, which is compliant with PAS2080, the forerunners of which were the on-line carbon and cost calculation tools, CapIT and LifeCYCLE. More recently she developed and implemented Mott MacDonald’s Global Carbon Neutral strategy and action plan to become Carbon Neutral in 2020 and achieve ISO14064 and PAS2060 certification. In addition, she works with Clients to help deliver their Net Zero ambitions.

Dirk Röttgers, Policy Analyst, Green Finance and Investment, OECD

Dirk Röttgers is Policy Analyst at the OECD Environment Directorate. He has worked in the field of energy economics, climate mitigation policy and green finance for more than 12 years, and more than 5 years at the OECD. His current analytical work focusses on empirical analysis of institutional investment in sustainable infrastructure. As part of the OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment, Dirk also regularly represents the OECD at high-level events and is responsible for organising OECD events on green finance policy.