Inclusive and rights-based climate action must be integrated into infrastructure development to support the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, according to UNOPS latest research.
Global efforts to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development are falling short. The dangerous effects of climate change will continue to have extreme impacts on all people, but especially women and marginalized groups – including indigenous peoples, people living in poverty and persons with disabilities.
‘Inclusive infrastructure for climate action’ paves a path towards responding to the climate crisis and building a sustainable future that leaves no one behind. Featuring expert insights from 10 non-governmental organizations that work directly with marginalized people and communities across the world, the publication offers recommendations to develop infrastructure that is equitable, accessible, affordable, empowering and does no harm.
The report finds that inclusive infrastructure influences the achievement of up to 88 per cent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and calls for an approach to infrastructure that identifies and responds to marginalization, socio-economic inequalities and climate vulnerabilities.
According to the research, women and marginalized groups are estimated to make up more than 80 per cent of the global population and are therefore the majority of infrastructure users. Yet current infrastructure solutions, particularly in the context of climate change and climate disasters, fail to meet their specific needs.
By examining the barriers that many people face – including discrimination and social exclusion, physical barriers and lack of safety, prohibitive costs and requirements, limited access to information, and lack of access to decision-making – the publication identifies ways to mainstream inclusion in climate-compatible infrastructure development. This includes identifying 7 action areas and 24 recommendations that governments and other stakeholders can use to deliver inclusive infrastructure for climate action.
This publication builds on previous UNOPS research, which identified that infrastructure is key to addressing issues of sustainability and climate action – it influences up to 92 per cent of the SDG targets, is responsible for 79 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for 88 per cent of all adaptation costs.