In developing economies, infrastructure is key driver of growth. The pace of development in all other industrial segments rely heavily on available infrastructure. As a natural consequence the governments focus on rolling out large scale projects across the country. We have similar situation in our country that are reflected clearly in successive plans of Central Government and corresponding budgetary allocations. However there is an associated danger that relates directly to the environmental concerns. Apparently, there is trade-off between the development and environmental sustainability whose importance cannot be undermined in any way. The problem is not imaginary and it needs adequate attention at all the stages of planning and execution of infrastructure projects.


We need to understand that Infrastructure led development doesn’t have to be insensitive towards sustainability question. In fact, infrastructure led development is essential to attain the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Infrastructure for water and sanitation is as essential for human well-being (SDG 6), as high-quality education (SDG 4) and having access to energy (SDG 7). Better health (SDG 3), increased economic growth (SDG 8), and the eradication of poverty (SDG 1) are all outcomes of infrastructure development. Further, in light of India’s climate pledge to achieve the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, it becomes supremely important that our development story, for the sake of a collective green future, must be carried out in optimum balance matrix.


Introducing the usage of sustainable building materials helps lower the carbon footprint considerably. Traditional building components with a high carbon footprint, such as concrete and steel, cause greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is possible to considerably reduce the carbon footprint by identifying and using cutting-edge, sustainable materials like hempcrete, which can withstand repeated flooding and prolonged high humidity levels without suffering any harm. Utilizing technological solutions like Building Information Modelling (BIM), may decrease the waste of raw materials, boost productivity, and cut expenses. This lowers the demand for extra raw resources and the environmental impact of producing them. Integrating renewable energy resources such as solar panels and wind turbines can let buildings generate their own electricity and even contribute to the grid. Automating through sensors and algorithms too can be a powerful instrument in optimizing energy usage and reducing energy waste. Modular building designs using prefabricated components and off-site construction, on the other hand, are more efficient than conventional construction practices.


It is a proven fact that climate change and poverty are intricately intertwined as climate change disproportionately affects people from low-income groups and developing countries. To ensure holistic and homogeneous economic growth, India, as a developing country, must opt for sustainable low carbon infrastructure that help build a resilient economy and at the same time protect its people against exposure to extreme climate change events. To do that India must look beyond tech solutions alone. Building shareable infrastructure such as railways, strengthening existing public logistics, and integrating electricity, transport, clean water, and sanitation services, too, are closely associated with poverty alleviation and combating climate change.


Our planet is currently undergoing significant irreversible changes as a result of climate change. There is no simple answer to the problem of how to build infrastructure that is climate-compatible. From the moment an infrastructure project is first conceived until the end of its lifecycle when it is decommissioned or reused, the industry will need to make choices that are dynamic, evolving, multifaceted, and technologically backed. In order to narrow the infrastructure gap and improve everyone’s quality of life, as a country we must invest in sustainable infrastructure that can adapt to future unpredictable climatic circumstances, helps the economy decarbonize, protects biodiversity, and decreases pollution. The infrastructure choices we make now will eventually determine the quality of our shared future. Although there is still time to intervene, it is crucial that we act swiftly and immediately.