Around 155 companies have signed a statement calling on global governments to align their efforts to recover from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus with the latest climate science.
With a combined market capitalisation of more than $2.4 trillion (£2tn) and representing more than five million employees, the businesses are all part of the Science-Based Targets initiative – among their ranks are Adobe, Carlsberg Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, Colgate Palmolive, EDF Group, Electrolux, H&M Group, Mars, Nestlé, Orange, Salesforce.com, Telefonica, The Co-op and Vodafone Group.
Spanning 34 sectors, they are calling for policies that will build resilience against future economic shocks by supporting efforts to reach net-zero emissions well before 2050 by holding global temperature rises to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Governments around the world are currently preparing trillions of dollars worth of stimulus packages to help economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown’s impacts.
The signatories stress they must use this opportunity to “prioritise a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy” through measures that create good jobs, reduce emissions and ensure clean air.
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 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.”