HRH Prince Charles has called for “real action” from the pensions and investment industry on tackling the “existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss”.
His call to action was made at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s online ESG conference.
Setting out the challenge Prince Charles said: “I have spent much of the last forty years trying to get across the message about why sustainability matters and… frankly, I am fed up with all the talking. We know now what needs to be done.”
He said that institutional investors, pension professionals, chief finance officers and accountants attending have an “essential role to play in driving the urgent and substantial change required”.
He added: “Your ability to raise and allocate funds for transition and adaptation, to embed greenhouse gas reductions within your organisations’ decision-making processes, to influence others and to track and report on progress against these targets places you at the very heart of the transition.”
Earlier this year Prince Charles Sustainable Markets Initiative launched the ‘Terra Carta’ – a blueprint for the next decade on ways to balance prosperity with the needs of nature, people and the planet. He said thisinitiatives reflects the “considerable progress that has been made in forging consensus on the direction humanity must take and the milestones we must meet by the middle of the century to secure a sustainable future”.
Prince Charles says he was encouraged by the number of organisations signed up to this agreement and also committing to net zero targets.
He added: “This is why I set up my Accounting for Sustainability Project back in 2004, in order to work directly with you as finance leaders to inspire action and drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable, circular bio-economy rather than a fossil economy. After 17 years of trying to get the message across, it is time for real action to tackle the emergencies we face on all fronts.
“This is not about making money on the one hand and being sustainable on the other. It is all about recognising that business as usual is no longer an option, and that those organisations which invest in the future – by putting Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation – will be the ones to succeed.”