Day 1 :27th October 2021
Session 1: The urgency of green investment
The climate emergency and other environmental threats require instant mobilisation of all public policy and expenditure tools for an effective transition to green governance. Choices made on infrastructure systems and on public expenditures in the next decade will be critical for achieving global and national climate goals such as net zero carbon emissions, and halting the dramatic loss in biodiversity. Transition to green governance should also contribute to a more inclusive investment process. Achieving climate and social objectives will require far-reaching transitions in energy and mobility infrastructure that will depend on a rapid scaling-up of investment in low-carbon electricity generation, significant improvements in energy efficiency, and the deployment of new energy and transport technologies such as grid-scale storage and hydrogen. Business as usual types of investments could lock the world into an unsustainable path. Furthermore, governments, as major buyers of goods, services and public works, have the duty to lead by example and promote behavioural changes that would drive more sustainable and inclusive consumption practices. The magnitude and urgency of the climate change challenge require a new holistic public governance approach to infrastructure and public spending to make the climate transition happen. The OECD has been supporting member countries in their efforts to strengthen government capacity – both institutional and administrative, including at regional and local levels – to take into consideration environmental aspects in public investment decision-making to facilitate socially inclusive, green and digital transitions. This session will discuss efforts and initiatives led by governments to design and implement infrastructure plans that actively contribute to environmental ambitions and actions that support a greater uptake of green public procurement strategies.
Breakout session 1 - Opening the procurement toolbox to achieve environmental goals
This breakout session will look at the opportunities offered by public procurement strategies and tools to support a transition towards greener societies. From rethinking public needs to reshaping business practices and supporting greener innovations, public procurement leaders have at hand a wide array of options to act and stimulate environmental performance. The session will offer insights on how these strategies and tools are implemented in practice. Building on experiences from all level of government, the session will highlight the decisive role of tailored strategies to implement greener purchasing practices.
Breakout session 2: Resilient infrastructure for the recovery
Infrastructure is long-lived and the adverse effects of aging infrastructure can threaten assets’ value for money and capacity to deliver the services that they are intended to provide. To ensure quality of services, infrastructure needs to be resilient. The G20 report on resilience and maintenance of infrastructure, developed by the OECD, presents a framework for optimising existing assets and for building new resilient infrastructure in order to ensure infrastructure quality and performance over the asset lifecycle. The framework leverages new technologies and nature based solutions for infrastructure.
Closing Session: Are actions worth the efforts? Measuring the impact of infrastructure governance and public procurement expenditures on climate change and inclusion
The final session will look at recent initiatives and tools to measure the impact of infrastructure investment and public procurement on environmental outcomes and inclusion. While countries have increased efforts to promote green public procurement and take into account environmental and social consideration in the public investment decision-making process, many governments lack appropriate tools to measure and monitor the actual impact of these reforms on achieving desired outcomes. The pandemic has also required new assessment tools to track and assess the environmental and social impact of COVID-19 related public spending. More broadly, the session will discuss initiatives and challenges relating to comprehensive measurement of public investment’s impact on the environment. Likewise, the session will present innovative assessment tools and discuss on potential future collaboration. Such measures will help to keep governments on track, providing valuable information for the adjustment and reinforcement of measures required to meet climate and environmental targets.
Day 2 :28th October 2021
Session 1: Integrating social and gender considerations in infrastructure planning, appraisal and evaluation
Infrastructure is critical to improve access to jobs and markets, reduce poverty, income and gender inequality, and address regional disparities. In order to deliver inclusive and long-lasting effects, a stronger emphasis should be placed on the needs of women, and vulnerable or marginalised groups and territories, who are often under-represented throughout the investment decision-making process. This session will discuss the framework for incorporating gender considerations into infrastructure decision-making proposed by the OECD report “Selected stocktaking of good practices for inclusion of women in infrastructure” and examine policy tools, strategies and methodologies to better link infrastructure planning and prioritisation with social and regional development policy objectives and undertake a more inclusive assessment of infrastructure needs.
Session 2: Stakeholder engagement for sustainable and inclusive infrastructure
The process for managing infrastructure should rest on broad-based consultations and open dialogue drawing on public access to information and a focus on users’ needs. Public consultation processes are essential for legitimacy and trust, transparency and the identification of infrastructure needs and can thus enhance the performance of infrastructure projects. A meaningful engagement process with stakeholders can highlight potential risks for specific communities, enhance the knowledge on the project and secure the buy-in from society at large. OECD good practices include “proactive” measures to disseminate information and allow for continuous and open dialogues that are broad-based, involving relevant stakeholders in planning, decision-making and oversight. Public awareness of, and demand for, efficient public investment is therefore a crucial factor for project planning, selection and prioritisation. This session will discuss insights from good practices and concrete experiences to ensure meaningful stakeholder engagement with communities, users and impacted people to collaborate during all phases of the project life cycle and facilitate an evidence-based debate on the main economic, environmental and social impacts of the project.
Both public and private infrastructure actors recognize the importance of infrastructure governance to achieve strategic and sustainable outcomes and to engage all stakeholders in infrastructure planning, investment, and delivery. The final session will summarise the main takeaways from the day, highlight major lessons learned, signal opportunities and present future initiatives by the OECD and partners to ensure infrastructure governance benefits all and contributes to inclusive growth.