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G20 leaders are on their way to the 18th Heads of State and Government Summit in India this week and iRAP advocacy has appealed for their commitment for results-based financing of 3-star or better road infrastructure to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The G20 Leader’s Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10, the United Nations SDG Summit in New York on September 18-19, and the United Nations General Assembly from September 25 in New York, provide a unique opportunity for G20 leadership and solutions to address the dual global challenges of road trauma and climate action.

iRAP has written letters to the Heads of State of each G20 country outlining the immense and preventable cost of road trauma to their country’s people and economy, along with the estimated human and monetary savings of achieving UN Target 4 for more than 75% of travel to be on 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030.

Support for results-based financing, impact investment and Road Safety Bonds will provide the foundation for the mobilisation of existing and new finance to unlock the win-win-win benefits of safe and sustainable transport – to save lives, save money and create jobs.

According to iRAP CEO Rob McInerney, “The moral and financial business case for eliminating high-risk roads is clear. For example, in India, it is estimated that 819 people are killed every day in road crashes. It doesn’t have to be this way. Solutions are available. Achieving UN Target 4 by 2030 stands to save 101,231 lives every year with an economic benefit of USD$801.8 billion to the country’s economy.”

Lives and serious injuries can be saved on scale, with significant economic benefit to each country and globally, through innovative mechanisms for financing infrastructure as part of development assistance and trade partnerships.

iRAP and global partners including the UN, World Bank, IFC, EIB, ADB, IDB, MCC and PIDG are shaping the results-based financing of safer road infrastructure for all road users that will deliver on the dual road safety and climate goals. Delivering 3-star or better infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, vehicle occupants and public transport will deliver on road trauma reduction and facilitate the necessary mode shift needed to meet the Paris Agreement. Every 3-star or better project will help create safe, sustainable, healthy and inclusive communities that thrive.

According to iRAP’s Safety Insights Explorer, elevating road infrastructure to a 3-star or better standard for all road users in the G20 stands to save more than USD$56 million lives and serious injuries over the 20 year life of road treatments with an estimated benefit of $8.6 trillion to their combined economies.

Achieving Target 4 in each country is consistent with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 (which aims to halve road deaths and injuries by 2030), and Sustainable Development Goal 11.2 (that strives for safe and sustainable cities). It is one of the UN Member States’ agreed 12 Global Road Safety Performance Targets that form the basis of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

Results-based financing commitments will directly support the G20 Roadmap for Infrastructure as an Asset Class and the recognition of infrastructure as a driver of economic growth and prosperity; the 3-star or better standard highlighted in the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment (Osaka, 2019); the G20 InfraTech Agenda enhancing value for money and quality infrastructure investment for better social, economic and environmental outcomes (Riyadh, 2020); G20 recommendations on Policy-Based lending and G20 High-Level principles on sustainability-related financial instruments and the critical role of safe, reliable and high-quality infrastructure (Rome, 2021); unlocking innovative financing in LMICs to achieve the SDGs and support the G20 Sustainable Finance Roadmap and the G20/Global Infrastructure Hub Framework on how to scale up Sustainable Infrastructure Investment (Bali, 2022).

Under the Indian Presidency, the G20 Summit commencing this week is focussed on the theme, ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. It is the climax of the G20 process and the work carried out over the year through Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups.

iRAP and Towards Zero Foundation’s published T20 policy brief Achieving the SDGs for Road Safety in G20 Countries has already informed the G20 process.

In its direct advocacy letters to the G20 leaders, iRAP has highlighted the following opportunities for G20 leadership and collaboration:

  • Support the inclusion of innovative mechanisms for financing infrastructure and road safety as themes for the Brazil G20 Presidency building on Brazil’s leadership in this area.
  • Ensure all new infrastructure investment is 3-star or better for all road users in accordance with the Member State agreed Global Road Safety Performance Target 3.
  • Support the development of Road Safety Bonds and results-based financing to bring existing roads to the 3-star or better global standard through national programs and ODA.
  • Establish national policy targets for more than 75% of travel 3-star or better roads for all road users in support of the SDG targets and Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The G20 is expected to adopt a Leaders’ Declaration at the conclusion of the Summit that states Leaders’ commitment towards the priorities discussed and agreed upon during the Ministerial and Working Group Meetings.

“Addressing the global burden of road traffic injury is central to achieving ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people worldwide and transport produces around 25% of man-made carbon emissions. We appeal to G20 leaders to prioritise the critical investment and commitment needed to address this public health priority and stand ready to support the life-saving road safety efforts of decision-makers and iRAP partners in G20 countries and globally,” Mr McInerney said.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. India holds the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023.

iRAP’s more than 17,500 partners in G20 countries are invited to access its G20 Heads of State letters to support local advocacy.

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
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