- UK Infrastructure Bank opens doors
- Singapore sets up advisory panel featuring ICE Past President Lord Robert Mair
In this fortnightly blog, ICE's Director of Policy Chris Richards looks at developing policy landscape for infrastructure, what decisions mean, and their implications, so that infrastructure professionals can play their part in shaping the discussion.
UK Infrastructure Bank opens for business
The new UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) recently opened, with its remit confirmed by the UK government in a new Framework Document.
The document sets out the role of the bank as providing: "leadership to the market in the development of infrastructure and new infrastructure technologies, crowding-in private capital and reducing risk through its cornerstone investments and range of financial products. It will bolster the government’s lending to local government for large and complex projects through its expertise and scrutiny, and help to bring private and public sector stakeholders together to regenerate regions and create new opportunities."
It will have two strategic objectives, to help tackle climate change and support regional and local economic growth. Given these two objectives may conflict, the Framework Document suggests "where an investment is primarily to support economic growth, the Company will ensure that it does not do significant harm against its climate objective."
The bank will be expected to deliver a ‘double bottom line’ of meeting those objectives while generating a positive financial return over time. The Framework Document also outlines the intention for the bank to be a long-term institution focused on providing additionality to private finance markets, crowding-in investment rather than crowding-out.
Singapore sets up a new panel to advise on sustainable infrastructure development
Singapore’s Second Minister for Finance and National Development, Indranee Rajah, has announced the creation of a new Asia Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory Panel to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by sharing expertise on how to close the significant financing gap for infrastructure projects in Asia.
According to Infrastructure Asia, the panel, which includes ICE Past President Professor Lord Robert Mair, will:
- Serve as a platform to exchange the latest thinking and best practices on sustainable infrastructure and communicate new ideas to the regional infrastructure community;
- Provide insights and feedback on initiatives that Singapore intends to pursue pertaining to sustainable infrastructure and recommend focus areas, based on global trends which could be applied to the region (i.e. Asia); and
- Promote opportunities for the international private sector to support Asia’s sustainable infrastructure development.
The overall aim is to harness and share trends, ideas, and best practice for the region's benefit to strengthen regional finance provision for infrastructure investment.
In case you missed it...
- ICE has released a discussion paper on public transport funding post-Covid exploring the options and the principles for sustainable funding post-Covid.
- ICE Fellow Jonathan Spruce outlines the key messages and evidence on smart motorways he delivered to the Transport Select Committee when giving oral evidence this month.
- State of the Nation 2021 marks a transition away from a policy report focused on government action and towards a report that focuses on civil engineers' actions. To mark the transition, in this blog we look back on the previous recommendations State of the Nation’s have made to government and how these have been adopted.
Check back in a fortnight for the next edition of the ICE's Infrastructure Policy Watch. You can also sign up to ICE Informs to get a monthly digest of the latest policy activities from ICE, including calls for evidence to support our ongoing advice to policymakers.