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Global infrastructure survey seeks views on decarbonisation agenda


Organisations operating in the infrastructure sector around the world have been asked to share their views on the opportunities and challenges associated with transitioning to and operating in the ‘green’ economy.

Contractors, suppliers, and infrastructure asset owners and operators are among the organisations encouraged to participate in the Pinsent Masons 2023 global infrastructure survey, along with governments, consultants, lenders, investors and technology providers.

The survey asks participants about the opportunities and challenges for their organisation associated with the green transition and the global green economy.

Opportunities listed include growing revenues and profits, accessing new clients and markets, attracting talent and investors, and raising profile and brand reputation. Challenges listed include internal appetite to embrace the global green economy, accessing capital to support investment, supply chain readiness, litigation and data and intellectual property (IP) risks.

Participants are also asked to rate their organisation’s readiness and maturity to take advantage of the green transition and global green economy now and how they see that evolving over the next three years. Another question asks for views on what will help stimulate demand and growth for new green products and services.

The survey also seeks to capture organisations’ maturity in relation to climate-related reporting requirements under the framework developed by the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as well as attitudes towards the role of industrialised construction in supporting the green transition and global green economy.

Other questions in the survey encourage participants to think about how they expect the green transition and global green economy to affect the availability of people and resources, impact on the type of partnerships and joint ventures their organisation will enter into, on areas of investment, and whether the green transition will effectively reverse globalisation of supply chains.

EU member states have reached a deal on the world’s first carbon border tax aimed at supporting the EU transition to net zero by 2050 and applies to iron, steel, cement, aluminium, fertilisers, hydrogen and electricity generation. A trial period starts in October 2023 and includes many of the most commonly used construction materials and is set to bring about a rethink of construction and manufacturing supply chains, which typically include China and the US as well as other countries.

The survey comes at a time when policymakers and regulators around the world are imposing increasing regulation on businesses of all kinds aimed at implementing international commitments around addressing the climate crisis.

Graham Robinson of Pinsent Masons said: “The economic effects of inaction to climate change far outweigh the costs of mitigation. This can be seen from climate related weather events across all parts of the globe totalled $2.5 trillion in the decade from 2011 to 2020 and have grown significantly as reported by the World Economic Forum citing data from the AON Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight: 2020 Annual Report.”

“The infrastructure and built environment sectors are responsible for around 40% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and therefore the global green economy represents one the greatest opportunities to propel growth in the construction of new green infrastructure and adaptation of existing infrastructure,” he said.

“The size of this opportunity is attractive to other sectors such as the global tech and advanced industrialised sectors and will lead to very significant opportunities for construction to form strategic partnerships and joint ventures with other industries and sectors,” Robinson said.

Infrastructure expert Ian Laing of Pinsent Masons said: “The challenges include a rethink of the entire construction value-chain as the Covid pandemic has already forced organisations across the infrastructure sector to look at the resilience of supply chains. The green transition, including the new EU carbon border tax, will only accelerate this rethink as globalisation potentially grinds to a halt for construction and could go into reverse.”

The survey closes on 31 January 2023. Pinsent Masons will collate, anonymise and analyse the results from the survey and share them in a report and at a series of global infrastructure law review of the year events early next year.

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