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There is no vaccine for climate change

6 October 2020: ICAEW has collaborated with the British Embassy in Athens and WWF Greece to talk about a sustainable response to COVID. The two virtual events delivered key messages on the climate agenda and the use of green financing tools.

Sustainability should be at the core of economic models. This was a key takeaway from the two virtual events entitled ‘Green Economic Recovery in the age of COVID-19’.

David Matthews, ICAEW President, reminded us that COVID is not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis. It exists within the unfolding crisis of climate change, so the two are intertwined.

With panellists including policymakers, academics and think tanks, and the second day chaired by Richard Spencer, Director of Thought Leadership at ICAEW, we were reminded that COVID tells us something has gone very wrong with the way we live, work, and, importantly, invest. And if anything should come of this pandemic, it must include more environmentally astute investment.

The speakers urged us to consider how we can work with nature and reminded us that we are in the midst of a planetary emergency. They pointed out that finance is the fuel behind recovery – and recovery is not just about spending more but about investing properly. We need a post-COVID economic strategy that is, above all, resilient.

To achieve all this, the speakers said we must embed the environment in any transformation of the financial services sector. How we recover from COVID will have long-term implications for the planet and they said that financial institutions should be held to account for what happens next. Doing better post-COVID will take in-depth strategic thinking.

To watch highlights from the event, please click here.

The event supporters were: The Bank of Greece, The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Greece and the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.