Commenting on the creation of the UK government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Department for Business and Trade, Eliette Riera, Head of UK Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, said:

“The creation of the new UK government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero can be a positive step towards ensuring these important issues are dealt with holistically and with the appropriate level of focus. Net zero as an issue cannot be addressed in a siloed manner - the current energy security and cost of living crises can be only tackled effectively alongside the pursuit of longer-term climate objectives, and not in isolation. Shifting financial flows to address key societal concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and inequality, is pivotal to ensuring long-term resilience, stability and prosperity. This requires foundational changes in public policy as a whole: net zero must be placed at the core of the UK government and reflected in all aspects of the new Departments created today.”


Commenting on the release of the UK government’s report on net zero, Margarita Pirovska, Director of Policy at the PRI, said:

“The UK government’s report published today underlines clearly the benefits the UK stands to realise by moving towards a net zero economy. By acting on the areas the report outlines, numerous sectors – including food and beverages, renewable energy, and industries associated with improving household energy efficiency – stand to realise significant growth benefits and attract additional investment. A whole-of-economy, coordinated approach to transitioning to net zero is the most effective and efficient way to achieve the UK’s government’s goals. Investors themselves have made clear and consistent calls for the government move forward in the PMs ambition for the UK to become the world’s first net zero financial centre. We need the government to commit to an ambitious, clear and impactful roadmap for these opportunities to be realised, building on the work to date for the updated green finance strategy, and with renewed consultations with the financial sector.”  


Commenting on the outcome of negotiations at COP15, Tamsin Ballard, Director of Climate at the PRI, said:

“The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marks a historic moment for the conservation and restoration of nature. Adopted by 196 countries under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the agreement commits the world to take action by 2030 to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and as part of this conserve at least 30% of land, freshwater and ocean globally, whilst respecting the rights of indigenous peoples. PRI particularly welcomes the call to align global financial flows with the goals and targets of the framework, the ask for large and transnational companies and financial institutions to assess and disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity and the intent to eliminate, phase out or reform harmful subsidies on biodiversity by 2030. However, to ensure successful implementation, it will now be essential that countries deliver on the Agreement, by translating it into national plans and policies and ensuring the efficient mobilisation of resources.”


Commenting on the agreement reached by the EU institutions on the reform of the EU emissions trading scheme, Ed Baker, Head of Climate Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, said:

“We very much welcome the agreement that was reached on the reform of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). This is a major milestone in realising the ambition that the EU has set out under the Fit for 55 package. We encourage the EU to implement the ETS extension to the transport and buildings sector in a just and equitable manner, and to incentivise a swift decarbonisation of industry sectors that are currently still receiving free emission allowances until 2034. These steps will further contribute to reaching the EU’s 2030 emission targets and carbon neutrality by 2050. ”


Commenting on the lunch of the US Energy Transition Plan, Ed Baker, Head of Climate Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, said:

“While the Energy Transition Accelerator represents a clear advance on previously mooted carbon offsetting initiatives, by directing capital flows to emerging markets, it is important to ensure that commitment to this initiative does not come at the expense of cutting real world emissions. Urgent action is needed to finance the climate transition, particularly for developing countries, but it is important to note that carbon offsetting of this nature should be employed alongside active efforts to cut emissions, rather than in lieu of such efforts.”


Commenting on the launch of the UN High Level Expert Group’s report Integrity matters: net zero commitments by businesses, financial institutions, cities and regions, Shelagh Whitley, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Principles for Responsible Investment, said:

“The High Level Expert Group’s report is an important milestone for the sector and serves to provide an informative roadmap for future ambitious action. Particularly against the backdrop of COP27, it’s clear we need to see ambition maintained and increased in order to drive climate action further and faster. PRI echoes the call to forge closer partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as the recommendation for the disclosure of actionable net zero transition plans. We remain committed to supporting ambitious investor action on climate through our work across the sector – including on multiple net zero initiatives which play a crucial role in driving additional aspiration.”


Commenting on the launch of the UK Transition Plan Taskforce Disclosure Framework, Eliette Riera, Head of UK Policy at the PRI, said:

“The PRI welcomes the new proposals from the UK’s Transition Plan Taskforce. The proposed framework provides comparable information to support companies’ transition plans to reach net zero by 2050. For investors, this new proposal – alongside the recent release of the Sustainability Disclosure Requirement consultation by the FCA – is a positive step towards delivering on the pledge for the UK to be the world’s first net-zero aligned financial centre and provides needed clarity on companies’ proposed actions to the market. As the COP baton passes over to Egypt, the swift implementation of concrete policies to support short and medium-term climate targets remains an area where the UK government has an opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership.”


Commenting on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union (SOTEU) address, Nathan Fabian, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at PRI, says:

“Tackling the climate and energy crisis go hand in hand. Investors understand this and want to contribute to the urgent energy transition. The European Commission’s ambition to take emergency measures to stabilise energy markets and protect companies and households is critical. But these steps must not undermine efforts to agree on an ambitious Fit for 55 package: to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies, catalyse low-carbon innovation in EU companies, and generate sustainable investment opportunities for investors.”


Commenting on the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act through the Senate, Gregory Hershman, Head of US Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, comments:

“The Senate’s approval of $369 billion in climate-related funding is a much-needed jump start for efforts to combat climate change. The climate crisis is not a partisan agenda, it is a scientific reality which affects every community, every market, and every family in the United States. Retirement savings are already under threat from the climate impacts we’re seeing in our communities from drought, fires and record-breaking heat. To prevent the worst of this impact, we need coordinated efforts across federal, state and local governments – with this bill constituting a significant step in the right direction. Now, we must ensure investors are equipped to consider climate risk, and to act accordingly to protect the financial interests of working families across the country. The passage of this bill signifies that we have crossed a major hurdle and can now come together to support additional climate action that ensures a just, inclusive and orderly transition to net zero.”


Commenting on the US Senate’s proposed bill on climate action, Gregory Hershman, Head of US Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, comments:

“Just weeks after a regressive ruling from the Supreme Court restricting EPA’s authority, this announcement is a notable step in the right direction. If signed into law, a third of a trillion dollars devoted to the energy transition is a major boost in the fight against climate change. Almost as important as the capital dedicated is the signal this sends to businesses, investors and the rest of the world - the transition is happening, and the United States is ready to do its part. We urge responsible investors to signal their support for these proposed climate measures and the successful conclusion of these negotiations. Now, we need to see further ambitious and supportive action taken within the private sector – among investors and indeed more widely – to facilitate an effective and equitable response to the climate crisis.”


Commenting on the EU Parliament’s vote on the inclusion of gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy, Elise Attal, Head of EU Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, comments:

“The European Parliament has rubber stamped the European Commission’s proposal to include gas and nuclear energy in a complementary section in the EU taxonomy. This will complicate its implementation. Investors will need to carefully review companies’ disclosures to ensure that taxonomy-aligned investments reflect criteria that are science-based. Failing to take this step could prompt fragmentation across the market and lead to potential greenwashing. The PRI will continue to work with its signatories and policy makers to shape taxonomy developments around the globe, aligned with science, to enable global convergence and to ensure disclosures in the EU are applicable and fit for purpose.”


Commenting on the US Supreme Court’s ruling pertaining to the powers of the EPA to take action on climate change, Gregory Hershman, Head of US Policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, comments:

“Today’s decision by the US Supreme Court is a regressive and harmful step which in practice prevents the federal government from implementing a national policy on climate change. Climate change is real and investors bound by fiduciary duties don’t have the ability to ignore it. Restricting the EPA’s efforts to address the issue limits our ability to approach climate change as a collective challenge and creates significant undue risk at a time when a just and orderly transition to a net zero economy has never been more vital. Investors recognize these threats and are stepping up to the plate to facilitate a systemic response. We urgently need a bipartisan political movement to support these investor efforts.”

For more information on PRI’s US policy work, click here


Commenting on the IPCC’s Working Group III report on the mitigation of climate change, Shelagh Whitley, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Principles for Responsible Investment, comments:

“Today’s IPCC’s report underlines the urgency of the climate crisis. To avoid a dangerous increase in emissions, we must cease new investments in fossil fuels and increase financial flows towards assets which facilitate the low carbon transition. Encouragingly, we know from today’s report that we have the solutions needed to halve emissions by 2030. We also know that there is sufficient global capital and liquidity to finance these solutions. Now, we must see urgent action to finance the solutions needed.

“Investors have a leading role to play in this process. The IPCC report notes that investors are raising awareness of climate change as a financial risk. However, climate-related financial risks, whether from physical climate impacts or from a disorderly transition to a low carbon economy, are still greatly underestimated by parts of the industry.

“The PRI will continue to work with our signatories to support and increase their ambition on climate issues. In addition, we will continue our collaborative work to ensure a supportive policy landscape exists to best enable the vital shift to a net zero economy. The IPCC report shows that there is no time to waste – urgent action is needed to secure the future of our planet.”


Commenting about the new resolution by the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) to end plastic pollution, Shelagh Whitley, Chief Sustainability Officer, PRI said:

”The PRI welcomes the adoption of a resolution at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) to end plastic pollution and create an international legally binding agreement by 2024. Supported by 175 nations, it marks one of the most significant multi-lateral environmental deals since the Paris accord. Critically this new agreement will address the full lifecycle of plastic, considering its production and design, not just what happens to plastic waste. Plastic pollution is a global challenge and is a systemic issue for investors. Although policies and regulations on plastic use have risen dramatically in recent years, a new legally binding agreement has the potential to make a huge difference through harmonised goals and action from policymakers worldwide. The PRI has supported investors to understand risks and opportunities across the plastics value chain and address plastic pollution across the full plastic lifecycle. The PRI will continue to support investors to take action on this important and fast-moving issue, through its circular economy programme.”


Commenting after the launch of the IPCC’s report, “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, Sagarika Chatterjee, Director of Climate and Environment at the Principles for Responsible Investment, said:

“The IPCC has set alarm bells ringing loud and clear with this report. As a society, we are not acting rapidly enough to prevent the widespread impact of climate change, and we face a closing window to keep global warming to manageable levels. We stand at a cliff edge, facing the very real prospect of a world changed forever by the impact of man-made global warming. Billions of people will be affected by the damage climate change will do to our planet, it’s ecosystem, and our very way of life – unless we take drastic action now. International cooperation is at the core of this – a reality felt most keenly in the current geopolitical environment. Looking ahead, investors and governments need to act in concert to realise a global scheme of climate resilient development, which secures sustainable economic growth and preserves the future of our world.”