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Reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) must be achieved in the coming decades to avoid catastrophic global temperature rises. Limiting global warming to within 1.5°C will require rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all sectors. GHG emissions in Asia and the Pacific now account for over 50% of the world’s total.
Comprehensive infrastructure projects have proven to be efficient in reducing poverty, community burdens, and production costs and raising competitiveness within and between regions. However, investment in specific forms of infrastructure can help balance the trade-offs between huge infrastructure demand and scarce financial resources, especially in developing countries.
Spanning from the People’s Republic of China through Central Asian countries along the Caspian Sea to Europe, the Trans-Caspian Corridor is an increasingly important channel for transportation and cross-border trade. Considerable financing gaps and other challenges must be addressed to meet its rapidly expanding infrastructure needs.
Effective infrastructure projects not only construct infrastructure, such as roads, railways, water supply, and electricity, but can boost economic growth in the surrounding region through “spillover effects” (Yoshino, Azhgaliyeva, and Mishra 2021). The infrastructure benefits firms by lowering costs and improving connectivity and the ease of doing business, leading to greater sales and exports.
By Roger Vickerman. Posted February 19, 2020
The scale of investments in high-speed rail (HSR) raises questions about the most appropriate methods of appraisal. Increasingly the reliance on conventional cost–benefit analysis, based essentially on the direct benefits to users and the direct costs to operators, has been questioned.
In India, the project to build the country’s first 500-kilometer high-speed railway (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is underway. For comparison, all top 10 economies in the world except the United States have constructed several HSR lines in the past 30 years. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) alone has built nearly 28,000 kilometers of HSR in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, opinion makers in India are expressing contradicting views, questioning whether it is suitable for the country to develop expensive infrastructure such as HSR.
The disappointing scale-back of California’s showcase high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Anaheim has many experts asking what lessons can be learned. Similar pushbacks have occurred on other continents: witness the popular resistance to construction of a new superstation as part of Stuttgart’s urban renewal, which escalated into violent demonstrations, delays, and stalemates.
As we are increasingly relying on technical innovations to solve some of society’s most complex problems, technological advancements such as artificial intelligence are contributing to new, modern modes of transportation, especially to enhancing safety. However, technology is only one of many critical factors for safety, and there is a need to understand the other factors.
Such infrastructure projects would not be effective without proper operation and maintenance, and economic activities would be unsustainable without efficient infrastructure. The transport sector is an important component of any economy, and it is a crucial input for development. This is especially so in a globalized economy, where economic opportunities are increasingly related to the efficient mobility of people, goods, and information.
Since its inception in Japan in 1964, high-speed rail (HSR), and its impact on the economy, has received attention from policymakers worldwide. Early HSR development was more of a race to go faster, and the early success led policymakers around the world to believe in the power of HSR for catalyzing growth.
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