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US Treasury Secretary pitches for investment in sustainable infrastructure

US Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen. Photo: Facebook

Washington, June 3 (MNN) US Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen said on Thursday that the annual global infrastructure investment gap of around 2.5-3 trillion dollars cannot be filled by public-sector funds alone, and that there was need for investment in sustainable infrastructure.

“If the world has a realistic hope of reaching our climate goals and avoiding the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we must close this gap by investing in sustainable infrastructure,” she told the G20 Infrastructure Investors Dialogue meet.

She said that climate change was not the only driver for investing in high quality, green infrastructure.

“These investments also provide opportunities for the bottom line, as investments that account for environmental, social, and governance impact reduce downside risk and protect returns.”
Yellen pointed out that the G20 had worked to catalyse private sector investment in infrastructure.

“This work is now more important than ever as governments divert resources towards COVID-19 recovery, and the US is committed to doing its part.

First, to help address the investment gap here in the US, the Biden-Harris Administration has proposed a plan to invest 1.7 trillion dollars in public finance over the next 10 years. These investments will modernise 20,000 miles of highways and roads, expand the country’s broadband infrastructure – and most importantly, they will help catalyse significant private-sector investment in infrastructure and green technologies. For example, the plan calls for a proposed investment tax credit that would mobilise tens of billions in private investment in high-voltage power lines alone.”

Under this plan, 40 per cent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments will go to underserved areas, including rural and tribal communities. “These investments will also create millions of high-paying jobs that strengthen working communities and achieve environmental justice,” the US Treasury Secretary said.

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