The outgoing Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, has wasted no time in settling into his new role as U.N. special envoy for global climate action, warning Monday the world faces irreversible heating unless firms turn away from their former investment priorities.
Carney was hand-picked by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres for his new job, as Breitbart News reported. He was signed up to drive action among financial institutions ahead of the 26th round of global climate talks set down for Glasgow, Scotland in November 2020.
Carney, who spent spent 13 years as a private banker at Goldman Sachs, has now warned all private and public companies plus financial institutions must justify their continued investment in fossil fuels, and warned that assets in the sector could end up “worthless.”
He made the comments in a pre-recorded BBC Radio 4 Today interview.
The banker told the program the “climate crisis” was a “tragedy on the horizon” and he foresees more extreme weather events as inevitable. “By the time that the extreme events become so prevalent and so obvious, it will be too late to do anything about it,” he said.
This is not the first time Carney has stepped into the public domain and issued dire warnings about what the future may hold.
He did the same thing during the Brexit debate, at one stage issuing an economic forecast for ‘No Deal’ Brexit predicting a catastrophic 8 percent crash in GDP in a single year.
“Mark Carney is a 2nd-tier Canadian Politician who failed to get on in Canadian Politics & got a job in the UK. I don’t think he’s greatly respected, & he’s been deeply politicised to the damage of the Bank of England’s reputation” @Jacob_Rees_Mogg#StandUp4Brexit #ProjectFear pic.twitter.com/duWG50gbNr
— #StandUp4Brexit (@StandUp4Brexit) November 28, 2018
On the issue of whether investors should be divesting from companies in the fossil fuel sector, Carney said fund managers would “have to make the judgment and justify to the people whose money it ultimately is.”
When pressed on whether pension funds should divest from oil and gas companies even if the returns were attractive, he replied: “Well that hasn’t been the case but they could make that argument. They need to make the argument, to be clear about why is that going to be the case if a substantial proportion of those assets are going to be worthless.”
The Canadian warned: “If we were to burn all those oil and gases, there’s no way we would meet carbon budgets. Up to 80% of coal assets will be stranded, [and] up to half of developed oil reserves. A question for every company, every financial institution, every asset manager, pension fund or insurer: what’s your plan?”
Described by Politico as an “eco-warrior”, Carney produced a 2015 report together with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg advising all listed companies to disclose any risk they face from climate change in their annual financial filings and to cease listening to alternative climate voices.
He returned to that theme in his interview, urging climate skeptics to cease their opposition on the issue and repent, saying: “We can’t afford on this one to have selective information, spin, misdirection.”