Investor organisations call for a sustainable economic response to Covid-19 global downturn


IIGCC with other leading investor organisations has yesterday (4 May) issued a statement to governments, setting out ways to ensure the economic response to the corona pandemic is sustainable, helps address climate change and supports action to achieve net zero emissions. The letter has been sent to a range of governments, including all members of the G20, by CEOs of the seven Founding Parnter global investor groups behind the The Investor Agenda.

Chief Executive Officer of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change, Stephanie Pfeifer, explains: “Governments are rightly consumed with keeping their populations safe and providing financial support to individuals in need. Once people are taken care of, governments should be signaling their intentions for a sustainable recovery by incorporating climate conditions into financial support for companies. Longer term economic stimulus spending needs to focus on supporting green industries and infrastructure, and avoid further carbon lock-in. The policy frameworks already exist to steer a sustainable recovery, we need to ensure their implementation. We can’t leave climate action behind.”

The Investor Agenda has been developed by seven Founding Partner investor groups: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative.

A full copy of the statement – The Investor Agenda: A Sustainable Recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic – can be found here and the full accompanying press announcement including comment from other investor group CEO’s here.

Various IIGCC members endorsed publication of the statement:

Adam Matthews, Director of Ethics and Engagement, Church of England Pensions Board: “The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout gives government and companies an unprecedented opportunity for both to match their recovery plans with the aim of net zero emissions. As companies globally begin to receive an unprecedented level of  government bailouts, grants, loans, and  tax concessions, it is imperative that they put in place climate change transition plans  that uphold the Paris Agreement goals and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

 Steve Waygood,  Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors: “We support the Investor Agenda’s call for governments to ensure a sustainable recovery and uphold the Paris Agreement for a greener future. Investors have a vital role to play in financing the transition to a low carbon world. Governments need to provide the right incentives so that finance flows to the right places and to accelerate more sustainable economic solutions.”

James Bevan, Chief Investment Officer, CCLA: “The founding partners of The Investor Agenda are right to call for just and sustainable recovery plans as governments move from crisis management to rebuilding economies fit for the 2020s and beyond. We now have the opportunity to accelerate Paris-aligned transition pathways in key sectors, including electrical utilities, where the economic incentives increasingly back a rapid shift from brown to green”.

Roelfien Kuijpers, Head of Responsible Investments, DWS: “In the wake of the still existing climate and environmental situation the Earth is facing we believe it is important that measures to reinvigorate economies in the wake of the pandemic have a green focus. DWS specifically recommends investments into energy efficiency measure in real estate, such as developing climate and energy standards for existing buildings and align incentives between building owners and tenants. We also advocate the strategic importance of impact investing in emerging market countries.”

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