Two Danish pension fund chiefs say any investments being proposed for the financial sector to help the country meet its 2030 climate goal should happen sooner than envisaged, given the coronavirus crisis.

In their capacity as the chair and deputy chair of lobby group Insurance & Pension Denmark (LD), Laila Mortensen and Allan Polack said the sector was still ready for major investments in the green transition, which had to be focused on despite the pandemic problem.

Noting the Danish central bank’s recent prediction the domestic economy would contract by between 3% and 10% this year, the pair – respectively chief executive officers of pension funds Industriens Pension and PFA – said that with some DKK4tn (€536bn) of assets the pensions industry was a key driver for Danish society and the recovery of the economy.

“In other words, we have the capital to stimulate investment, and that is what is needed when we have to rebuild the Danish economy after the crisis,” the two leaders said in a commentary published on the association’s website and in financial daily Børsen.

“We propose to bring forward more of the investments that the climate partnership for the financial sector will initiate to reach the climate goal of reducing Denmark’s CO2 emissions by 70%,” they said, referring to one of the 13 climate partnerships Denmark has set up covering different areas of the economy.

The groups, which were formed in November, have recently handed in their reports and recommendations.

Making these investments in sustainable renovations, energy investments and the infrastructure of the future would accelerate growth and keep the green transition on track, Mortensen and Polack said, at a time of fear that climate action would take lower priority than before the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite the current serious situation, Mortensen and Polack said they were cautious optimists.

“We are, because we know how far we as a society can go when we find the balance between the collective and the individual,” they said.

“Therefore, we are ready for large investments in Denmark that can benefit the Danish economy, the construction industry and the green transition,” they said, adding that they were convinced that in the long run such investments could both benefit the individual pension saver and make a much-needed contribution to kickstart the Danish economy.