Strategic Policies for Sustainable Infrastructure


Sustainable and quality infrastructure plays a crucial role in society and economy. It is indispensable for delivering better and more inclusive economic, social and environmental conditions, and for supporting growth by expanding access to vital services and improving economic opportunities for all.

Sustainable infrastructure is complex, long-term by nature, and involves numerous risks and stakeholders. The purpose of the horizontal project is to provide a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary response to address these challenges and ensure infrastructure reaches its economic, environmental, social and development objectives.

The initiative aims to harness the wide range of OECD expertise and knowledge to provide guidance, good practices, data and analysis that can support policymakers in delivering key aspects of sustainable and quality infrastructure.

 Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative

COVID and infrastructure

The COVID crisis has highlighted the critical role played by infrastructure in terms of supporting health and well-being and sustaining economic activity. Infrastructure must also be a key component of the recovery and contribute to creating more resilient, inclusive, green, and, ultimately, more sustainable economies and societies.

The OECD has developed a COVID-19 Hub that provides policy responses to support governments across multiple policy areas, including infrastructure.



Key themes
Low-carbon transition

Ensuring that infrastructure development supports the low-carbon transition, and avoiding lock-in of polluting, environmentally-harmful infrastructure.

Resilience and adaptation

Building infrastructure that is resilient against natural catastrophes and other risks, and adapted to changes in the climate.

Regional disparities

Using infrastructure development to address regional disparities and the rural-urban divide.

Mobilising finance

Mobilising public and private capital for sustainable infrastructure investment.

Governance and decision-making

Developing the governance and decision-making tools for delivering cost-effective, low-carbon, resilient, and inclusive infrastructure.

Technology and innovation

Supporting the development of digital infrastructure, and ensuring new digital technologies (IoT, AI, blockchain, 5G) contribute safely to improved access, efficiency, resilience, sustainability and financing of infrastructure services.

Inclusiveness and accessibility

Ensuring infrastructure is accessible, and benefits women and other groups including vulnerable people and marginalised communities.



Supporting the G20 agenda on infrastructure

Quality Infrastructure Investment

As expressed by the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII), developed under the Japanese G20 Presidency, quality infrastructure investment contributes to maximizing the positive impact of infrastructure to achieve sustainable growth and development, raising economic efficiency in view of life cycle costs, integrating environmental and social considerations in infrastructure, building resilience against natural disasters, and strengthening infrastructure governance. 

The OECD is currently developing a toolkit on quality infrastructure investment for policymakers and practitioners. The Compendium of Policy Good Practices for Quality Infrastructure Investment will provide policy guidance through a set of integrated and multidisciplinary international good practices that aim to support governments pursuing quality infrastructure investments. The Implementation Handbook for Quality Infrastructure Investment will provide analytical and operational guidance through focusing on selected major issues and challenges for quality infrastructure investment in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and providing implementation solutions supported by concrete examples and case studies.

Collaboration with institutional investors and asset managers

The OECD is supporting the G20 Saudi Presidency through a dialogue with institutional investors and asset managers on increasing private participation in infrastructure investment. More information on the findings can be found in the G20/OECD Report on the Collaboration with Institutional Investors and Asset Managers on Infrastructure, which brings together private sector perspectives on ways to overcome the infrastructure financing gap.


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