The Addis Ababa Action Agenda calls for increased investment in sustainable and resilient infrastructure as prerequisites for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Closing the global infrastructure gap has become a priority for the international community. Yet, challenges remain despite many initiatives in this area.
The 2018 thematic chapter examined the financing challenges related to the SDGs highlighted at the 2018 High Level Political Forum: SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 15 (life on land).
Because the sectors covered in this chapter in large part address public services and goods, national and subnational public authorities are ultimately responsible for service delivery. Public policies and actions must thus be the driving force. The Task Force analysis focused on factors countries should consider in determining private and public ownership, operation and financing of projects in the targeted sectors. These include: (i) whether investments can be sufficiently profitable to compensate private investors for the risks they bear; (ii) whether investments produce goods or services that can be effectively supplied by the market, or whether they have public-good properties (including positive or negative externalities) that require public involvement; (iii) whether public intervention is warranted for social equity reasons; and (iv) whether private investors can bring efficiency gains through the profit incentive.
The Task Force highlighted seven policy priorities to guide stakeholders as they scale up SDG financing: a) Enhancing institutional and regulatory frameworks; b) Developing infrastructure plans; c) Translating plans into quality project pipelines; d) Strengthening public finance; e) Mobilizing the private sector; f) Pricing externalities; g) Strengthening international cooperation.