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DAVOS 2021: Carney hails 'tipping point' in fight against climate crisis

Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England. Photo: Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP
Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England. Photo: Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP

Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said the world is at a “tipping point” in the fight against climate change.

Carney said the political will and financial appetite was there but institutions needed to create the right systems to harness it.

“We’re reaching the tipping point, the question is execution,” Carney said during a panel appearance at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda conference on Wednesday.

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Carney said initiatives such as a carbon tax or forward carbon pricing were important for incentivising change in financial markets, allowing funds to flow towards green projects. Carney, who left the Bank of England is March last year, said “blended finance” between public and private actors was key.


Carney is now an adviser to UK prime minister Boris Johnson on green finance ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow later this year. The Canadian is also a special envoy to the UN on climate finance.

The former central bank chief’s comments were echoed by others who appeared alongside him on the panel.

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“We are seeing an impressive movement in both the public and private spheres towards solutions,” said former US vice president Al Gore.

Gore said political will was crucial for ending the global dependance on oil.

“The stone age didn’t end because of a shortage of stone,” he said. “The petroleum age will not end because of a shortage of petroleum.”

Gore said global leaders should look to the example of the COVID-19 vaccine as a model for how to tackle the climate crisis. Governments around the world committed huge amounts of resources towards developing a vaccine, which helped to galvanise the private sector.

Oliver Bate, the chief executive of German insurance and asset management giant Allianz, said EU rules around investment should be looked at to make green investment more profitable.

“The regulatory framework we have in Europe does actually disincentive us helping with the transition, particularly on the equity side,” he said. “That clearly needs to be addressed.”

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