Investors with $62trn should put sustainable investing case to Trump, says PRI

Speak to the President-elect in language he might understand

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) says its signatories – worth trillions in combined assets – should be putting the case for sustainability to US President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump’s election traumatised the SRI sector, but the PRI argues there’s an opportunity to “engage” his administration and make the case for sustainability – especially on green infrastructure and energy efficient buildings.

Investors should talk to Trump, who has backtracked on his claim that climate change is a hoax, “not only because they appreciate the issues at stake, but because they can speak to the President-elect in language that he will understand.

“Imagine for a moment if the majority of the PRI signatories got together and put a sustainability case to Donald Trump—that would be the power of $62trn staring him in the face.

“On a practical level, convincing the President-elect that his mandate to stimulate growth and re-energise the job market by improving the ageing US infrastructure would benefit from a sustainable focus is a challenge that investors groups should rise to,” the organisation adds.In the aftermath of the election, Ceres’ President Mindy Lubber said it raised “serious threats” to climate change and clean energy – though she said the transition to a clean energy future is “irreversible and inevitable”.

“The power of $62trn staring him in the face”

“A smart way for the President-elect to begin his mandate would be to invest in sustainable infrastructure projects that create jobs and use the latest technologies and innovation but do not harm the environment and are “climate proofed” for the future,” the PRI says.

It went on: “It is through infrastructure upgrades and green property that the Trump administration may come round to the sustainability agenda by recognising the commercial realities and requirements of today’s investors.”

The PRI says it is worth remembering that individual US states have strong climate policies in place.

And a “final reality check” is that China is steaming ahead on green finance, especially green bonds. The Trump administration would “not want to get left out”.