A new sustainable finance charter and a call to action on biodiversity

Jan 11, 2021

The Prince of Wales has announced a new sustainable finance charter aimed at persuading businesses to embrace sustainablility.

Called the 'Terra Carta', the charter sets out a 10-point action plan, amounting to almost 100 actions, for businesses to become more sustainable by 2030. Already backed by business such as the Bank of America, BP, Blackrock, Unilever and AstraZeneca, it aims to raise £7.3 billion to invest in the natural world by 2020. It will raise this through the Prince's newly launched Natural Capital Investment Alliance. Speaking at the One Planet Summit in Paris the Prince reportedly said "I can only encourage, in particular, those in industry and finance to provide practical leadership to this common project, as only they are able to mobilise the innovation, scale and resources that are required to transform our global economy."

These initiatives will be needed by business community more than ever if it wants to protect itself from the impact of future pandemics. Speaking at the same Summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned that countries will face future outbreaks like the coronavirus unless they effectively protect biodiversity. Von der Leyen pledged that the EU will invest “several hundred million euros” in biodiversity and animal-health related research projects, adding “if we don’t urgently act to protect our nature, we may already be at the beginning of an era of pandemics”.

The One Planet Summit is an international conference that brings together heads of state and government as well as leaders of international organizations, financial institutions, the business sector and NGOs; this year's Summit is focusing on fighting biodiversity loss, which it describes as 'our life insurance'. 

Over 50 countries have joined a 'High Ambition Coalition' and have pledged protect 30 percent of the planet’s land and seas. Many joined this coalition at a Summit event on Monday 11 January. The event was hosted by Ireland's former and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights President Mary Robinson, and was attended by Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, who confirmed Ireland's participation.