World mayors say $375B in green infrastructure needed in the next 4 years

Dive Brief:

  • The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has issued a report arguing for roughly $375 billion in infrastructure investments over the next four years to mitigate the effects of climate change, GreenBiz reported.

  • The report, drafted for C40 by the Arup, pegs 2020 as a deadline year to make significant improvements or risk locking in an irreversible, two-degree-Celsius global temperature increase based on planned emissions.

  • Between 2005 and 2016, major international cities completed 11,000 projects addressing climate change, the report finds. Cities will consequently need to increase the project volume by 125% and complete them 50% quicker to meet the 2020 deadline.  

Dive Insight:

For an industry chronically plagued with budget and schedule overruns, throwing $375 billion at sustainable and resilient infrastructure to stave off global warming and expecting those projects to be viable — much less completed — within four years seems a bit optimistic.

But the AEC sector undeniably has a primary role to play in the sustainability movement, and addressing inadequacies in the existing built environment via retrofits could be an exponentially larger opportunity than attempting to stave off global warming with new smart projects.

Consider that the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs to spend $3.6 trillion just to bring the country’s deteriorating infrastructure back into step. Certainly planning for and designing resiliency and sustainability into those projects is a worthy attempt at C40’s target.

In the meantime, the construction resilience arena has shifted from prevention mode to survival mode, preparing infrastructure to deal with the effects of changing climate conditions as much as they’re working to prevent that change to begin with.

Filed Under: Green Building Infrastructure
Top image credit: Flickr; Ian Sane