Infrastructure Investments Crucial for Future Sustainable Development

May 2020

Every pundit and economic analyst is weighing in on what should be included in the next round of stimulus funding to address the economic concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, $3 trillion has been earmarked or disbursed and a similar amount is expected if there is a next round. Some proponents are now making the case that infrastructure investments should be part of upcoming stimulus packages.

These advocates point to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) as an example of where priorities should lie. That bill contained $90 billion in clean energy investment stimulus, and was the single largest energy bill in history, invigorating the renewable energy sector and paving the way for the explosion in electric vehicles.

A group of experts the World Resources Institute (WRI) recently convened said Congress should learn from ARRA, which leveraged private sector spending to increase jobs and make the country’s infrastructure more resilient to the effects of climate change. In the 11 intervening years since the legislation passed, climate change has devastated parts of the U.S., from a run of catastrophic hurricanes to extreme flooding to wildfires, so arguably, there is more pressure now to shore up energy, water and transportation with smart infrastructure investments.

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