What is FAST-Infra?
FAST-Infra — the ‘Finance to Accelerate the Sustainable Transition-Infrastructure’ initiative — aims to close the trillion dollar sustainable infrastructure investment gap, with urgency, by transforming sustainable infrastructure into a mainstream, liquid asset class.
FAST-Infra was conceived in early 2020 by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), HSBC, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), OECD and the Global Infrastructure Facility under the auspices of President Macron’s One Planet Lab. Over 50 global entities, representing governments at all levels, the financial sector, investors, DFIs, insurers, rating agencies and NGOs are now actively participating in developing the FAST-Infra initiative.
A message on the importance of FAST-Infra from Brune Poirson, France’s Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
People need access to energy, transport, sanitation, hospitals and schools to thrive. Unfortunately, the way we have built much of this infrastructure over the last century has been extremely carbon intensive. Worse still, we will need to build much more of it in the coming decades, particularly in emerging and developing economies. Unless we quickly develop a new generation of sustainable infrastructure, it will be impossible to meet our national and global decarbonization goals.
Yet progress has been slow to close a sustainable infrastructure investment gap estimated to be in excess of $3 trillion a year over the next 10 years. The generation of bankable projects involving renewable power, green transport, sustainable water and waste, and green buildings is expanding but remains inadequate and sub-scale. Financing of infrastructure projects is limited and lacking sufficient investment from the private sector, which is crucial to bridging the investment gap. Institutional investors are keen to invest in sustainable infrastructure, which can offer stable, long-term returns. However, there is currently no way for them to verify which assets are genuinely sustainable.
The FAST-Infra solution
FAST-Infra proposes to establish a consistent, globally applicable labelling system for sustainable infrastructure assets. Alongside the labelling work, FAST-Infra is developing financial mechanisms to mobilize private investment at scale for the financing of labelled projects.
The labelling system will allow the market to easily signal the sustainability of the asset. Investors can trust that their money is going to projects that meet environmental, social, resiliency, and governance needs and contribute to the SDGs.
A sustainable infrastructure label will also ensure that governments and project developers embed high environmental, social, governance and resiliency standards into new infrastructure at the design and pre-construction phases, on the grounds that only assets incorporating such standards will obtain the label. The label will also attract private finance at the construction stage and new institutional investors at the post-construction phase.
FAST-Infra structure and timeline
FAST-Infra is comprised of an overarching group focused on the development of a sustainable infrastructure label, and four sub-groups focused on developing financial interventions that connect back to the sustainable infrastructure label. These all support the development of sustainable infrastructure into a deep and liquid asset class, helping to scale-up private investment in sustainable infrastructure in emerging and developing economies.
The groups are organized as the following:
- FAST-Infra Sustainable Infrastructure Label: Underlying standards, reporting requirements, terms of award, and governance
- FAST-Infra Technology-Enabled Platform: Infrastructure Data Platform with centralized tools, attached to a project finance loan exchange / marketplace
- GREG (Global Revenue Guarantee): Guaranteeing timely payments from the off-taker (temporarily), through a mix of private and public finance
- Open-Sourced Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme (OMCPP): Syndication structure allowing for participation from a wide range of NDBs in emerging markets.
- Sustainable Financing Facility (SFF): Banks and concessional capital lend to NDBs for on-lending to sustainable infrastructure projects
May 2020: FAST-Infra hosted two global roundtables to present its goals and to invite key stakeholders in the infrastructure ecosystem to join. Close to 100 institutions participated, with most subsequently joining FAST-Infra, including leading global investors, financial intermediaries, development finance institutions, governments, rating agencies and other stakeholders.
Presentation: FAST-Infra Roundtable (31 May 2020)
November 2020: The working groups provided reports on their progress.
Presentation: FAST-Infra Global Conference (12 Nov 2020)
View the entire conference on YouTube:
Q1 2021: FAST-Infra will unveil its proposed labelling mechanism with associated standards.
Q2 2021: four pilot phase sustainable infrastructure projects that will serve as proofs of concept.
Upcoming FAST-Infra external sessions
24 February 2021: FAST-Infra Project Deliverables Progress Meeting
12 May 2021: FAST-Infra Project Deliverables Progress Meeting
07 July 2021: FAST-Infra Global Conference
Read the FAST-Infra Overview.
To get involved or learn more, please contact: