In Brief

Mark Carney appointed UN envoy for climate change

Governor of Bank of England to take up new role at the end of January

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has been appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

The BBC says the special envoy post “is a pro bono position that is undertaken essentially for free” and that the UN will pay Carney just $1 a year for the work when he steps down as governor of the Bank of England at the end of January.

Carney will be tasked with mobilising private finance to take climate action and help transition to a net-zero carbon economy for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Glasgow in November 2020.

This will include building new frameworks for financial reporting and risk management, as well as making climate change a key priority in private sector financial decision making.

Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently entered the race to become the Democratic US presidential candidate, was the last person to hold the post. Bloomberg worked with the UN on climate change-related issues from 2014 to 2019.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of a climate summit in Madrid this week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterress described Carney as “a remarkable pioneer in pushing the financial sector to work on climate”.

Reuters reports that Carney “has urged the financial sector to transform its management of climate risk, and led various international initiatives to improve supervision and disclosure”. In October, he told The Guardian that companies and industries that are not moving toward zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and face bankruptcy.

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His successor at the Bank of England has not yet been named after the selection process was disrupted by Brexit and the upcoming general election.

Bloomberg says that there is “boosted speculation [Carney] may be asked to extend his term at the Bank of England for a third time”, although Chancellor Sajid Javid said last month that his party would appoint a new chief “very, very, quickly” if it wins the election.

“The Canadian has given little indication of what he wants to do after leaving Threadneedle Street” says City A.M., adding that “the UN climate job suggests he will seek an active role in global affairs”.

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