A group of investors managing trillions of dollars in assets has issued a statement to governments calling for a sustainable economic response to coronavirus that helps tackle climate change.
In a letter to governments, including all members of the G20, The Investor Agenda group warns that recovery plans that exacerbate climate change would expose economies to further financial, health and social risks.
Instead, they urge decision-makers to prioritise sustainability and equity, and accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions to mitigate climate risk, create new jobs and catalyse private capital.
This will also be important to build resilience to future systemic shocks, according to the letter, which calls on countries to avoid the prioritisation of risky, short-term emissions-intensive projects.
Signatories include the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative.
“As governments pursue efforts to recover from this economic downturn, they should not lose sight of the climate crisis,” the letter states.
“With trillions of dollars in capital under their management, investors will be critical to accelerating the recovery as it will require the efficient and equitable deployment of both public and private capital in fiscally-challenging times.
“Institutional investors take a long-term view of value and returns, and are therefore well-placed to assist governments devise multi-year recovery efforts.”
The Investor Agenda's letter calls on governments to ensure their economic response to COVID-19 prioritises human relief and job creation and upholds the Paris Agreement.
It also recommends that recovery plans include government support for addressing climate risk, prioritise climate resiliency and net-zero emission economic solutions, and embed investor participation.
“The path we choose in the coming months will have significant ramifications for our global economy and generations to come,” the letter states.
“It is critical that governments work with investors, companies and workers to develop just and sustainable recovery plans. Our organisations that work with investors stand ready to help governments to invest in a better, more resilient future.”