Thursday 27 February 2020 10:16 am

BoE governor Mark Carney urges the City to step up on climate change

Outgoing Bank of England governor Mark Carney has demanded the City answer “calls to action” on climate change and help speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

In a speech given in the City this morning, Carney is expected to call on money managers to “ensure that every financial decision takes climate change into account” ahead of the COP 26 climate summit later this year.. 

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“Given the scale of the climate challenge and the rising expectations of our citizens, 2020 must be a year of climate action where everybody’s in, and that includes the world’s leading financial centre,” Carney said in prepared remarks released by the BoE.

Carney is due to take over as UN special envoy on climate finance when he steps down as head of the BoE next month, and has been appointed to advise Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the November climate summit in Glasgow.

Speaking at this morning’s event, which was billed as the launch of a “Private Finance Agenda” component of the summit, newly-appointed business minister Alok Sharma echoed Carney’s call for the City to take action. 

Sharma said 2020 was “a pivotal year for the planet”, adding: “We are calling on action from everyone – businesses, civil society and each part of the global financial system to meet the Paris Agreement goals”.

The COP 26 summit is regarded as a critical test of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which set out a series of goals to tackle climate change. The UK is also aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

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In his speech, Carney was expected to say that “private finance will have a critical role to play in a successful transition to a net zero carbon economy”.

“Achieving net zero will require a whole economy transition — every company, every bank, every insurer and investor will have to adjust their business models. This could turn an existential risk into the greatest opportunity of our time.”