The G20‘s Osaka Declaration’s call to invest in ‘quality infrastructure’ was a milestone for it recognizes sustainable infrastructure as key to delivering the SDGs and Paris Agreement. Now, the challenge is to translate this high-level aspiration into concrete policies and action on the ground. An important avenue to achieve just this is the Think20 (T20) Engagement Group. The T20 are a group of leading think tanks which provide a link to regional and global research communities. On that basis, the group serves as a sort of “ideas bank” and systematically feeds evidence-based policy recommendations to the G20 working groups, minister committees and summit leaders.
Under Saudi Arabia’s T20 leadership in 2020, the topic of sustainable infrastructure has not only been dedicated its own Task Force 3 on “Infrastructure Investment and Financing”. The strong interlinkages with ecological sustainability are also recognized by Task Force 2 on “Climate Change and Environment”. The Solutions Lab community was honoured to count Mr. Nicolas Buchoud and Mr. Gabriel Lanfranchi, co-chairs of both Task Forces respectively, amongst its participants. At the Lab’s inaugural meeting in Berlin, they introduced their task forces’ agendas and priorities and invited the Lab community to contribute policy proposals.
Since then, several Lab participants joined forces with external experts to write policy briefs, three of which have been accepted by Saudi Arabia’s T20 presidency and will inform discussions in Riyadh and beyond. Topics include (1) Policies for Data-Driven, Integrated Planning of Sustainable Infrastructure; (2) Shaping the New Frontiers of Sustainable Urban Infrastructure; and (3) An Urbanization and Infrastructure Response to COVID-19.