From The Guardian (Damian Carrington):
Bank of England governor warns of financial collapse linked to climate emergency
Top asset managers oversee $300bn fossil fuel investments Why are asset managers investing in fossil fuel companies?
Companies and industries that are not moving towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt, the governor of the Bank of England has warned.
Mark Carney also told the Guardian it was possible that the global transition needed to tackle the climate crisis could result in an abrupt financial collapse. He said the longer action to reverse emissions was delayed, the more the risk of collapse would grow.
Carney has led efforts to address the dangers global heating poses to the financial sector, from increasing extreme weather disasters to a potential fall in asset values such as fossil fuel company valuations as government regulations bite. The Guardian revealed last week that just 20 fossil fuel companies have produced coal, oil and gas linked to more than a third of all emissions in the modern era.
The Bank of England has said up to $20tn (£16tn) of assets could be wiped out if the climate emergency is not addressed effectively. But Carney also said great fortunes could be made by those working to end greenhouse gas emissions with a big potential upside for the UK economy in particular.
In an interview with the Guardian, Carney said disclosure by companies of the risks posed by climate change to their business was key to a smooth transition to a zero-carbon world as it enabled investors to back winners…
US coal companies had already lost 90% of their value, he noted, but banks were also at risk. “Just like in any other major structural change, those banks overexposed to the sunset sectors will suffer accordingly,” he told the Guardian.
The central bank governor said transition to net zero carbon emissions would change the value of every asset, raising the risk of shocks to the financial system…
Far from damaging the global economy, climate action bolsters economic growth, according to Carney. “There is a need for [action] to achieve net zero emissions, but actually it comes at a time when there is a need for a big increase in investment globally to accelerate the pace of global growth, to help get global interest rates up, to get us out of this low-growth, low-interest-rate trap we are in.”
Failing to act would have severe consequences, he said. “I don’t normally quote bankers, but James Gorman, who is the CEO of Morgan Stanley, said the other day: ‘If we don’t have a planet, we’re not going to have a very good financial system.’ Ultimately, that is true.”