Mary Robinson addressed the Ceres Conference 2018, which gathered over 600 institutional investors, C-Suite company executives and capital market leaders who understand the financial imperative of addressing these sustainability threats.
Mary Robinson emphasised the need for a climate justice approach to the work of the delegates saying “As opportunities arise in this transition to sustainable development, it is imperative that investors and businesses protect human rights in their investments, operations and supply. Renewable energy companies need to understand their supply chains and engage in human rights due diligence throughout the life of a project. They also need to work with local communities to increase affordable access to energy and share project benefits. Business and investors should deliver a just transition to a low carbon economy that respects human rights”.
Highlighting the work of the B Team Net Zero group who have committed to ensuring their transition plans account for the positive and negative impacts on workers and communities, and that they commit to working in partnership with stakeholders to ensure the transition is just and fair, Mary Robinson explained how they have also agreed to, and are adopting and rolling out, the International Labour Organisation Guidelines for a Just Transition. “Without proper planning we risk leaving people behind who should be recognised for the contribution they have made to building the economies of our industrialized world. This can also impact negatively on communities who depend on these workers – leading to anxiety and resistance to change” she said.
As delegates shared innovative ideas on how to scale up sustainable solutions within their investment firms or business operations and across your global supply chains, Mary Robinson encouraged them to embed climate justice criteria in Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks, to ensure that investors can develop portfolios that enable sustainable development and safeguard the rights of people in vulnerable situations.