Former BoC governor appointed to UN climate change role

Mark Carney has urged the financial sector to step up action on environmental risk

Former BoC governor appointed to UN climate change role
Steve Randall

A former Bank of Canada governor has been appointed to a key role for the United Nations as the organization urges a global solution to the climate change emergency.

Mark Carney, currently governor of the Bank of England, was announced Sunday as UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, supporting the UN Secretary-General’s climate strategy.

Having impressed on the world stage during the Brexit-focused challenges for the UK in recent years, Carney will play an important role in galvanising the finance sector’s response to the challenges of climate change.

“I am honoured to have been asked by the Secretary-General to take on this important role to help transform climate finance ahead of the COP26 meetings in Glasgow next November,” Carney said. “This provides a platform to bring the risks from climate change and the opportunities from the transition to a net zero economy into the heart of financial decision-making.”

Last week the UN called for a global solution to the climate change emergency and other key trends, noting worldwide challenges of turbulence and uncertainty.

“Many of the most pressing issues facing humanity are global and interlinked:  the climate emergency; growing inequalities; and the misuse of digital technologies, among others,” said UN Secretary‑General António Guterres. “Global issues require global solutions, making international cooperation more important than ever.”

Adding to his comments on the transformation required in financial decision making, Mark Carney said that several things must change.

“The disclosures of climate risk must become comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and investing for a net-zero world must go mainstream,” he said.

Leaving the BoE

Carney is due to leave the Bank of England at the end of January 2020, the same time that the UK is due to leave the UK, although there is some uncertainty due to country’s election next week. His successor at the BoE should be announced once the next government is in place.

His selection for the UN role is testament to his five years at the central bank as highlighted by Brad Fried, Chair of Court, BoE.

“The appointment of the Governor to the role of Special Envoy is testament to the global recognition for his work – and the work of the Bank of England – in encouraging leaders in business and finance to change their approach to climate change. The Bank is delighted he will continue to take forward this work after he steps down from his role as Governor,” he said.