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A pandemic side-effect: Climate change, front and centre

A pandemic side-effect: Climate change, front and centre

Once the pandemic is past, the existential issues around climate change will still require action on an unprecedented scale. This may include changes in behaviour – beyond working from home and less (business) travel – and multi-trillion dollar investments in energy transition and environmental protection, says Edward Lees, co-portfolio manager in our environmental strategies investment group.

Fundamentally, from an environmental perspective, nothing has changed as a result of the pandemic in the sense that the problems that were here five or 10 years ago remain. If anything, the pandemic has reminded us not to ignore existential threats, to take them seriously and to look for opportunities for a coordinated response.


The types of problems to be solved are unchanged, but what has changed for the better over the course of the pandemic is that public awareness has grown and governments are now on board, having set net zero emissions goals: for 2050 in the case of the EU, followed by Japan, South Korea, China and the US with 2060 targets.

This wave of awareness has significantly increased support globally to accelerate climate change mitigation measures. These net zero targets require major steps to be taken. This will involve trillions of dollars of expenditure, meaning trillions of dollars of investment opportunities and double-digit growth rates in climate-related industries over the next 10 to 20 years.