Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19
Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19
Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19
Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19
Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19

Global Companies Urge World Leaders to Aim for Net-Zero in Recovery from COVID-19

May 20, 2020
“Saving lives and livelihoods, and building a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future, are at the heart of our efforts to recover from COVID-19,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Representing 5 million employees, 155 companies — with a combined market capitalization of over $2.4 trillion have signed a statement urging governments around the world to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.

The companies,  which span 34 sectors and have headquarters in 33 countries, are all part of the Science Based Targets Initiative.  They are calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.

“Saving lives and livelihoods, and building a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future, are at the heart of our efforts to recover from COVID-19,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“We can beat the virus, address climate change and create new jobs through actions that move us from the grey to green economy. Many companies are showing us that it is indeed possible and profitable, to adopt sustainable, emission-reducing plans even during difficult times like this.”

 In the coming weeks, several major economies will take key decisions in their recovery efforts, including the European Union Recovery Plan, new stimulus packages from the United States of America and India, and the G7 Heads of State summit in June.

The 155 companies have already set or committed to set, science-based emissions reduction targets. By signing the statement, they are reaffirming that their own decisions and actions remain grounded in science while calling on governments to “prioritize a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy.” Policy and spending that incorporates climate targets will reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters, create good jobs, reduce emissions and ensure clean air, according to a study from Oxford University

Ignacio Galán, Chairman & CEO, Iberdrola, said: “The world must be united to tackle the current health crisis. And, as we emerge from this crisis, we must focus on economic recovery on activities aligned with key priorities, such as the fight against climate change, and reactivating economic activity and employment quickly and sustainably.  Companies like ours remain committed to investing billions in clean energy, creating jobs and long-term economic and environmental benefits.  Pursuing environmental sustainability will be essential for long-term economic recovery.”

 “It is imperative that we not only restart the world economy – but also reset it. It would be a tragedy if after spending $10-20 trillion of public money we simply rebuild the same unequal, vulnerable and high carbon economy we had before”  said Dr. Andrew Steer,  CEO of the World Resources Institute. “We applaud the leaders of these 155 companies, who  are not only committed to resetting their own companies but are also demanding that the world’s governments act in the light of the best science and best economics which shows that climate-smart policies will create more jobs and stimulate resilient, inclusive economic growth.”