First global infrastructure leaders’ summit makes firm commitments to secure a greener future


Inaugural Global Leadership Forum Summit makes firm commitments to address the key infrastructure challenges facing the world.

The first ever Global Leadership Forum Summit which took place in Geneva this week has closed with a firm commitment that the infrastructure sector must take a lead on decarbonisation and advocating more greener investment in projects that make a positive difference to people’s lives and the planet.

Infrastructure leaders attending the summit on 27-28 April 2023, which was convened by international engineering federation FIDIC, represented an influential section of the global engineering, construction and infrastructure industry, making the event a significant gathering of the sector.

The exclusive summit for 50 of the world’s most senior leaders in the infrastructure sector was focused throughout on the need for greater collaboration to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the global infrastructure sector, especially in the climate change and sustainability arena. Summit attendees discussed a number of white papers, think tank reports and received briefings on key issues like accelerating decarbonisation, the sector’s market sentiment, the investment route to net zero, cyber security and collaborating to make a difference.

Closing the summit, FIDIC president Tony Barry said: “The responsibility on our sector is huge when it comes to addressing and solving some of the key issues that we face in regard to the climate challenge. It’s clear to me, from the way that we have conducted our discussions over the past two days, that we have it within us to rise to those challenges, to inspire others to do so also and to ensure that we create that better and more sustainable world that we all want to see.”

During the summit, global leaders took the opportunity to debate and define the actions needed to enable climate action and the achievement of net zero. Members of the Global Leadership Forum will now undertake further work to shape and fine tune a major piece of work that will define what the future global infrastructure market will look like. This work will lead to a report that will be published over the coming few months.

Speaking at the end of the summit, FIDIC vice president and president-elect Catherine Karakatsanis said: “It has been fascinating over the past couple of days to share experiences and insights with global infrastructure leaders and it’s clear that we face common problems and challenges no matter where in the world we work. This industry of ours is at its best when we come together and collaborate, as that is how we can address the challenge of change in an ever-evolving world.”

Commenting on the summit, which agreed firm commitments to deliver actions on all the key issues it discussed, FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “The past two days has seen some of the world’s most influential leaders in the infrastructure industry discussing what needs to be done to address the key challenges we face as businesses, as an industry and as a planet.

“Crucially, in also developing and working out solutions to these challenges and offering a roadmap for the industry to implement real change, I believe that the Global Leadership Forum and summit are well on their way to becoming the go-to organisation and event for all those looking to connect with the key leaders in the infrastructure sector and to bring about real change.”