Week of 4 May 2020
A growing number of influential companies call on their governments to place climate considerations at the heart of all economic recovery plans (18 companies in the UK, 90 in France, 68 in Germany, 37 at the EU level)
As debate about whether the climate should be at the heart of post-pandemic economic recovery intensifies and the Petersberg Climate Dialogue concludes, a growing number of influential companies take position calling for environmental considerations to be placed front and centre of all governmental recovery plans.
In an open letter sent to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 18 businesses, over two dozen environmental groups, and a number of public figures urge the UK government to build a more resilient green economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
- Company signatories include Iceland, Ben & Jerry’s, The Body Shop, Triodos Bank, Barratt Homes, and Good Energy.
- The companies urge the Johnson administration to prioritise investment in “climate-safe” infrastructure and technology, and skills for sustainable jobs. Companies from “polluting industries” that do not have a proper climate plan should be excluded. The government should seek to restore ecosystems on land and in oceans, and support sustainable food, farming and fishing. The government should pass environmental laws which include targets to restore ecosystems, and seek to bring global leaders together to plan for a sustainable economic recovery.
In an open letter to Le Monde, over 90 French and international companies call on the French government to “place the environment at the heart of the economic recovery.”
- Company signatories include BNP Paribas, LVMH, AXA, Suez, Danone, Saint-Gobain, Société Générale, Schneider, Alstom, Total, EDF, BASF, Generali, Siemens, Bayer, GE, Deloitte and Arcelor-Mittal.
- The companies urge the government to “channel a large proportion of the financial resources earmarked for economic recovery into the areas already identified as supporting ecological transition.”
- The letter was initiated by Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, and coordinated by think tank Entreprises pour l’Environnement.
A similar letter has been signed by 68 German companies (coordinated by Foundation 2C) calling for coronavirus-related state aid to be tied to climate action. Signatories include ThyssenKrupp, Salzgitter, Bayer, Covestro, E.ON, HeidelbergCement, Puma, Allianz and Deutsche Telekom.
Companies have also been vocal in stating that the European Green Deal should be placed at the heart of EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan. 37 CEOs (including from The Coca-Cola Company, L’Oréal, Lego, Ikea, H&M, Unilever and Danone) and 28 business associations joined an informal alliance launched in the European Parliament on 14 April. This Green Recovery Alliance, which brings together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the private sector and civi society, calls for “the establishment of Green Recovery Investment Packages acting as accelerators of the transition towards climate neutrality and healthy ecosystems.”