G20 Leaders met in New Delhi on 9-10 September 2023. The Leaders’ Declaration reflects an ongoing focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth, of which infrastructure is a key part.
G20 leaders recommitted to achieving the SDGs
The Leaders’ Declaration references the SDGs 24 times in 37 pages, including commitment to an action plan to accelerate achievement of the goals. Infrastructure has the ability to impact up to 92% of all SDG targets, and wide-scale alignment of infrastructure development with the SDGs would supercharge our ability to reach climate targets, boost social equity, and build economies in a sustainable way.
Connections between the Global North and South remain front of mind
The need for greater connection and cohesion between the Global North and South has been a theme of the Indian G20 Presidency, and it is good news for infrastructure. The majority of greenfield infrastructure needed is in emerging markets and developing economies, and the need to invest in this infrastructure and build it to sustain economic, environmental, and social benefits is well understood. Despite geopolitical challenges, there are signs that connections and cohesion may be starting to deepen.
There is energy to drive more effective multilateralism
Not surprisingly, MDB reform was referenced in the Leaders’ Declaration, which notes the leaders want “better, bigger and more effective MDBs”. They also saw a clear connection between MDB reform and the mobilisation of private capital: “We resolve to work with the private sector to … devise pipelines of investible projects in developing countries, by leveraging expertise of MDBs to mobilise investments.”
Among the many climate topics discussed, sustainable finance …
Also not surprising was the prominence of climate concerns in the summit. The Leaders’ Declaration devotes considerable space to the technical work of several of the G20 working groups, including the Sustainable Finance Working Group, reflecting the critical need to enhance the climate and sustainable finance instruments and solutions available to support the climate transition.
… and just energy transitions
G20 leaders declared that “no country should have to choose between fighting poverty and fighting for our planet.” They noted several specific supports for just energy transitions, including working towards low-cost financing for developing countries’ transitions, accelerating global markets for hydrogen produced from zero and low emission technologies, and recognising the role of resilient energy infrastructure and regional/cross-border power systems integration.
Leaders acknowledged the critical role of a circular economy
With circular infrastructure principles and solutions still not getting the attention they deserve, we welcome the G20 leaders’ acknowledgement that a circular economy is essential to a resilient future. The group committed to “enhance environmentally sound waste management, substantially reduce waste generation by 2030, and highlight the importance of zero waste initiatives.”
Learn more about the Indian G20 Presidency’s work plan.