Over 100 global investors call on EU leaders to deliver a sustainable economic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic


Leading global investors have written to European leaders highlighting the need to ensure the economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic delivers a sustainable recovery.

The letter comes from 109 investors, representing €11.9 trillion in assets under management or advice. To put the assets managed by the investors in context, this figure is larger than the combined GDP of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, or three times larger than German GDP alone1.

Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), led on development of the letter, in coordination with Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and CDP. Signatories include some of Europe’s largest investors.

Among other points covered in the letter, investors stress the need to ensure “an accelerated transition to a net zero emissions economy in line with the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.”

Conversely that, “recovery plans that overly exacerbate climate change would expose investors and national economies to escalating financial, health and social risks in the coming years.

The letter follows publication of the first element of the EU’s proposed post-Covid recovery strategy last week2. This positions the ‘European Green Deal as the EU’s recovery strategy’ and is a cornerstone of the EU recovery plan. The intervention from investors is intended to also inform economic planning at a national level across EU member states.

Highlighting that “net zero transition plans are needed to underpin recovery of countries, regions & companies,” the letter also sets out five key principles for EU member states to consider in supporting a sustainable recovery.

CEO’s of the organisations coordinating the letter explain:

“European leaders must deliver a recovery that supports the ambitions set out in the Green Deal,” explains, Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change“We can’t ignore the dual challenge of the climate and economic crisis. Financial decisions made over the following 12 months will shape the global economy for the next decade and beyond, and determine whether we have built the foundations for a sustainable future. A green recovery is the only option when the alternative means further carbon lock-in and fuelling the climate crisis for decades to come.” 

“In developing a recovery plan from COVID-19, we need to ensure that we create an economy that is fit for purpose for the 21st century,” said Fiona Reynolds, CEO, PRI. “We are very pleased that the EU is making steps toward implementing a sustainable and just recovery plan, and we encourage the adoption of measures that build on the landmark European Green Deal and are consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as proposed under the European Climate Law. As we recover from the profound human impact of COVID-19, investors, businesses, governments, and civil society alike will play a critical role in a sustainable recovery that incorporates the health of our communities, addresses inequality, creates jobs in the green economy and maintains commitments to climate goals.

“As European countries cautiously lift COVID-19 lockdowns put in place to save human lives, the focus on economic recovery must prioritise building the sustainable and resilient society that we need,” adds Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP. We therefore urge investors, regulators and policymakers to work together to ensure that finance flows are aligned with the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. We must ensure that long term renewal packages accelerate our economy into one that is more resilient, inclusive, and zero carbon in order to avoid greater risk from the climate crisis.”

Download the letter (pdf)

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