Dr Katherine Trebeck, from the Oxfam GB Research Team, is a member of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force. In a new blog post, she lays out why she's joined the initiative and how low carbon infrastructure can tackle climate change and help communities thrive.
We live in a world in which fewer and fewer people control more and more resources and influence. It is a world that is pushing against its biophysical limits. We already see that man-made climate change is hurting the poorest people the world over despite them doing least to cause it.
So the onus needs to be on developed countries, like Scotland, not just to take the lead in reducing their environmental footprint and carbon impact, but also to be proactive in developing and sharing solutions.
We need solutions that go beyond adapting and helping communities to survive climate change, but which enable people to live low carbon lives, to work in low carbon jobs, and to flourish in low carbon communities – now and into the future.
Oxfam’s work around the world shows us the importance of taking a long term view of economic development – we cannot simply strive for incremental increases in Gross Domestic Product, without regard to its quality or distribution, or indeed the impact our activities have on our planet.
Instead we need to think about generations of the future and their needs – and plan, act, and invest accordingly.
Infrastructure is a key pathway to this – it is very foundations of our economy. The scale of investment almost inevitably required demands that we think expansively and ambitiously about who benefits and in what ways.
We hope that people across Scotland will engage with the process of prioritising Scotland’s Way Ahead. It is important – not just because their money will be part of financing infrastructure projects, but because it is their children and grandchildren whose lives will be impacted by the extent to which infrastructure builds a low carbon economy.
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