February News, Insights & Events
The latest from GIIA and the Infrastructure Industry
The Latest News, Insights and Events
Join us and meet fellow members in Berlin
Join us in Berlin for our exclusive networking event on 22 March, coinciding with the PEI Global Infrastructure Summit.
EU plans for investors adopt GIIA views
A new Green Deal Industrial Plan from the European Commission rolls in recommendations from our most recent energy and transport reports.
Communications & Public Affairs Working Group
Our next meeting will take place on 7 March a week before the UK Spring Statement - join us for insights and a look ahead to upcoming activity.
UK Policy Working Group
Members are encouraged to shape our UK advocacy work and hear updates on current initiatives at our next working group on 28 March.
In conversation with Investment Monitor
Our CEO Jon Phillips sits down with IM to discuss all matters infrastructure delivery, net zero and long-term resilience.
Moving the biodiversity agenda forward
We brought members together to find out what the new Global Biodiversity Framework means in practice.
Talking Global Infrastructure
Discover more about the UK's appeal to global investors, the controversial Electricity Generator Levy and the future of public and private collaboration around project delivery as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure Andrew Jones MP sits down with Acting CEO Jon Phillips for our latest podcast episode.
From the CEO
Though there’s always the risk of speaking too soon, the outlook for our key markets appears to be a little brighter than the consensus opinion of only a few months ago. Although headwinds remain, maintaining a degree of uncertainty for both fundraising and valuations in the near term, the picture on both inflation and interest rates appears better than feared as we head towards Spring.
It was in that spirit of optimism and renewal that we headed to Washington DC this month to catch up with members and stakeholders alike.
Although Zoom and Teams have been transformative for an organization like GIIA in terms of our ability to engage in different markets without living on an aeroplane, there is no substitute for the quality of conversation facilitated by face-to-face meetings. My thanks to our US members who joined me in-person for a great discussion in our first US Policy Working Group meeting of the year.
I also enjoyed reconnecting with our friends at the National Governors Association at their annual Winter Meeting and to hear about the many challenges facing Governors and their teams on a range of policy issues, including those relevant to GIIA members such as energy resilience, broadband connectivity and EV charging.
There is no doubt that the US has stolen a march on the EU and UK in terms of the scale and ambition of its backing for infrastructure and investment incentives, and it will be fascinating to see how both the European Commission and UK Government respond, especially in terms of subsidies for renewable investments.
As predicted, there is a clear race for market leadership taking place and increasing competition to attract private capital.
I also had the pleasure of meeting with the UK’s Investment Minister Lord Johnson in the rather splendid surroundings of Admiralty House in February. The Minister was keen to talk about investor sentiment towards the UK, which gives me the perfect opportunity to ask members to look out for requests to complete the next edition of our Pulse Survey, produced with Alvarez & Marsal, every six months.
I am looking forward to seeing many members in Berlin for our reception on 22 March. If you haven’t registered to join us already, please use the link provided.
Jon Phillips, Acting Chief Executive Officer
GIIA Annual General Meeting
Look out for invitations to the next GIIA AGM over the coming days
Date: 30 March | Location: Online
GIIA UK Parliamentary Reception
Members are invited to join to us for networking and speeches from political leaders at our next reception in the UK Houses of Parliament.
Date: 3 May | Location: House of Commons Terrace
GIIA Advocacy Spotlights
Our engagement with those at state level responsible for implementing the US’ ambitious Infrastructure Investment & Jobs and Inflation Reduction Acts continued apace this month as we headed to Washington DC to convene with officials in and around the National Governors Association Winter Meeting.
Questions around what the legislation will mean in practice in many sectors still remain, and it was on that note that The Department of Transportation released its minimum standards and guidance for a “Buy American” waiver for its $5 billion electric vehicle charging grant program in February. The waiver will apply “to all EV chargers manufactured by July 1, 2024, whose final assembly occurs in the United States, and whose installation has begun by October 1, 2024.”
The new rules also set standards for the “installation, operation, or maintenance of EV charging infrastructure; the interoperability of EV charging infrastructure; traffic control device or on-premises signage acquired, installed, or operated in concert with EV charging infrastructure; data, including the format and schedule for the submission of such data; network connectivity of EV charging infrastructure; and information on publicly available EV charging infrastructure locations, pricing, real-time availability, and accessibility through mapping applications.”
Over the weeks ahead, GIIA will be working with the Build America Centre (BAC) and National Governors Association to finalise plans for investor roundtables taking place on April 19 and 20 at Stanford University.
The BAC is a collaboration between several universities, the Build America Bureau, and the Federal Highway Administration designed to provide technical assistance to state and local governments developing infrastructure projects.
The invitation-only event will feature public and private sector experts and state infrastructure officials focused on leveraging public investments through the IIJA and IRA with private sector funds.
If you’re interested in taking part please do get in touch. Further information to follow.
David Quam, US Representative
This month has seen both major UK political parties making interventions about infrastructure, with a promise to respond to US green subsidies on one side of the House, and a commitment to economic growth and green energy investment as fundamental missions on the other.
That general positivity around the industry fed through to our meeting with Department for Business and Trade Minister Lord Johnson earlier in the month, where we discussed UK competitiveness, regulation and net zero.
It was in this vein that we very much welcomed Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that the UK will shortly have a response to the US’s cornerstone Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Look out for potential announcements on March 15th as part of the Chancellor’s Budget statement.
Other positive developments over the month included news that the government has listened to concerns from GIIA and others around development of a Foreign Influence Registration Scheme (FIRS) as part of a new National Security Bill. Amendments to narrow the scope of the scheme, reflecting our recommendations, have now been tabled.
Elsewhere, a Prime Ministerial shake up of core departments has seen the creation of a new Department for Business and Trade. The hope is that, by bringing these two crucial remits under one umbrella, government will install one department with all the levers needed to unlock the UK’s full potential.
At the same time, a newly created Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) will focus on ensuring security of the UK’s energy supply and preparedness to meet legally binding Net Zero commitments.
A fresh Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, headed by Michelle Donelan, will seek to foster stronger growth, better jobs and bold new discoveries. The Department has a mandate to work to ensure the UK is the most innovative economy in the world, and a science and technology superpower.
Additionally, as part of the departmental rethink, responsibility for national security and investment policy (and associated teams) move from the remit of BEIS, to sit under the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Cabinet Office.
Collectively, this restructuring exercise signals a step-change in the government’s approach, with a narrower scope for each department hopefully fostering a clearer understanding of strategic mission – working to avoid any overlap of remits.
Elsewhere, the Labour party has this week built on economic pledges made earlier in the month with plans to secure “the highest sustained growth in the G7” should it win office, promising to promote “a genuine partnership” between the public and private sectors.
Plans are also now underway for our next UK Policy Working Group meeting on 28 March – I would warmly encourage members to contact me with any suggested agenda items for discussion.
Chloe Gibbs, Policy & Public Affairs Manager
At the time of writing, EU Transport Ministers are mid-way through a meeting to discuss implementation of the ambitious Fit for 55 emissions reduction plans. They will convene with Energy Ministers to discuss accelerated decarbonisation of the sector – a timely development, given our latest EU policy papers focused on the energy and transport sectors.
We are now awaiting full agreement on several elements of the Fit for 55 package, including the conclusion of trilogues on Alternative Fuel Investment Regulation, ReFuelEU Aviation and Fuel EU Maritime. We're expecting developments on this through March with the Commission keen to close the book on Fit for 55 and move towards implementation.
Other priorities in the transport space include GIIA’s submission to an open consultation
on the impact of the existing EU Slot Regulation, governing how airlines access airports, in which we’ll flag weaknesses that harm investment in the sector. With the Commission and Member States keen to accelerate transport decarbonisation and sustainable aviation fuel infrastructure rollout, it's more important than ever that regulatory inefficiencies are resolved.
Important developments also expected over the coming month include publication of the Net Zero Industry Act, Critical Raw Materials Act and the Commission's proposals for electricity market reform.
On market reform, countries are divided on the way ahead, with France, Spain and Greece pushing for deep reform and others including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and others warning against drastic moves that will impact investor confidence in the renewables market, harming net-zero goals.
In GIIA's own response to a recent consultation on the matter in February, we adopted a stance closer to the latter, recognising the value of different long-term power supply mechanisms as contrasted with mandatory adoption of any one model.
Negotiations over market reforms are expected to take more than a year, but with EU parliamentary elections in 2024, some states are pushing for progress to be expedited, something that looks unlikely at this stage given large differences in views on the way ahead.
If you're interested in joining the EU Working Group to learn more about what's going on in Brussels and contribute to GIIA's positions on issues as they develop, contact email@example.com.
Harvey Chandler, Senior Policy & Public Affairs Manager
Infrastructure Around the Globe
Electricity market reform: Paris challenges Berlin on timetable
Euractiv's Paul Messad updates on a meeting of EU energy ministers this week.
Why America’s outdated energy grid is a climate problem
CNBC's Catherine Clifford on modernising power networks in the US.
UK will respond to competition concerns – Hunt
The Independent's Dominic McGrath on the latest comments from UK Ministers regarding international investment.
Become a project finance master
If you are a member of our Emerging Leaders In Infrastructure Investment (ELII) network, you are entitled to a 25% discount on Euromoney's Masterclass in Project Finance starting in the Spring.
In fact, you can get discounts across a range of Euromoney courses, thanks to a partnership with the GIIA. Members of our Emerging Leaders In Infrastructure Investment (ELII) network are entitled to a 25% discount on Euromoney's Masterclass in Project Finance starting in the Spring.