Climate change

Roundtable on Mobilising Private Investment in Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure


A two-part roundtable discussion was held on 25 September 2012 at the OECD Headquarters to discuss how to integrate investment and climate change policies at the domestic level to provide a coherent, stable, long-term policy framework to catalyse investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure. The theme covered in each part was introduced by the Secretariat, followed by a panel of national government and expert interventions to reflect on country experience.

Roundtable chair: Sveinung André Kvalø (Ministry of Environment, Norway)

Part 1. Towards a Green Investment Policy Framework: Key Sector Challenges, Risks and Opportunities

Achieving the policy goals of low-carbon, climate-resilient development require “greening infrastructure” investments starting today to avoid lock-in to high emission and vulnerable development pathways of tomorrow. Particularly in the face of constrained public budgets, governments are turning to the private sector to fill the infrastructure investment gap.

This first part of the panel discussion provided an overview of the challenges, risks and opportunities to mobilise private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure. It introduced the main elements of the policy framework and illustrated different parts of it with case studies and examples. The latter included a sharing of results from the UK on British industry, of KfW’s financing programme on green buildings within the broader green investment policy context in Germany and a case study on sustainable housing and green investment in South Africa.


Part 2. An Illustrative Look at the Transport Sector Drawing on Case Studies (India, Mexico)

This session examined the questions outlined above with a special look at the transport sector. Transportation infrastructure is a pillar of economic development and a key driver of climate change. Transport related GHG emissions are expected to double by 2050 in the absence of new policies and once built, infrastructure can lock-in vulnerability or resilience to climate change. Leveraging private sector investment could accelerate LCR transformation in this sector. This discussion built on two case studies: i) Bus Rapid Transit systems in Mexico City and ii) development of a sustainable urban mobility platform in India. It drew on other country examples and connected these to a broader international context to advance environmentally-sustainable transport solutions.


Closing remarks, Helen Mountford, Deputy Director, OECD Environment Directorate


Case studies from external contributors
 (see also presentations above)

• “Mechanisms to Encourage Private Sector Investment/Participation in Low-Carbon Development - The Case of Germany”, by Kerstin Pfliegner, Jens Schuberth, German Federal Environment Agency (BMU) and Gudrun Gumb, KfW
• “The Mobilisation of Private Investment for Low-carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: The Case of Metrobus Bus Rapid Transit System in Mexico City”, by Erin Francke, Jorge Macías and Georg Schmid, CTS EMBARQ Mexico
• “Making Mobility a Part of the Housing Development Practice—A Market Approach, Cases from Ahmedabad and Bangalore”, prepared by EMBARQ India
• “Financing low carbon energy for low income housing in South Africa: the case of solar water heater clean development mechanism programme”, prepared by Misuka Green Development and the Climate Finance Hub

Other background publications

• “Growing pains: British industry and the low-carbon transition”, by David Nash, Will Straw and Reuben Balfour, IPPR
• “Europe's next economy: The benefits of and barriers to the low-carbon transition”, by David Nash, Will Straw and Reuben Balfour, IPPR

Overarching questions addressed

  • What specific economic opportunities and challenges exist when tackling climate change across different infrastructure sectors?
  • How does access to private finance differ between developed and developing countries?
  • How can policy be designed to better attract private sector engagement in LCR infrastructure investment?
  • Concerning the policy framework that will be discussed in Part 1 (see background documents), does it resonate with country experience to date?
  • How might it serve as a ―checklist‖ to guide policy assessment, dialogue and to advance relevant policy reforms?
  • How can countries work together to strengthen policies to achieve LCR transformation in infrastructure sectors?

This event was co-sponsored by the OECD and the Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG), which is jointly supported by the OECD and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Funding and in-kind contributions for this workstream were provided by the UK and German governments.


For more information, please contact: and