The news isn’t new. We are failing our environment – and society as a whole. Our climate is changing. Food, clean water, and energy supplies are all under strain. This will only worsen exponentially in the coming decades as the population (along with demand) continues to rise. What are we, as good citizens of a world in crisis, to do?
In addition to the environmental crisis, a rising population and urbanization have put a deepening strain on traditional global infrastructures. Traditional infrastructure has long been seen as central to the global economy. Examples are oil and gas pipelines as a means of power, industrial production, and transport, such as roads, railway lines, and air and seaports, amongst others.
Parallel to the environmental crisis and strain on global infrastructures are low interest rates and emerging inflation. The latter was brought about by the perfect storm that ensued from the COVID-19 pandemic. Key factors in this perfect storm are:
- The pre-existing practice of central banks implementing “quantitative easing.” This increases the supply of money through the purchase of government bonds and other securities.
- Supply shortages brought about by manufacturing disruptions, border closures, and supply chain friction.
Current low intesest rates, relatively subdued return expectations, and rising inflation are of particular concern to near-retirees and retirees. Somehow, this demographic must ensure that their retirement income will keep pace with the increasing costs of goods and services.
With low interest rates, emerging inflation, and aging infrastructure, governments around the globe are, again, prioritizing infrastructure to help stimulate the economy. However, given the urgent need to address climate change and resource shortages, nations are shifting from a focus on traditional, often fossil fuel-based, infrastructures, to green, sustainable ones. Examples are electric vehicle charging capability, lower carbon energy sources, and improved water treatment facilities, to name a few.
Growing necessity for transition to green Infrastructure