Last month the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, issued a stark warning about the impact of climate change: “If…companies and industries fail to adjust to this new world, they will fail to exist”. Mr Carney’s statement was co-signed by the chair of the Network for Greening the Financial System, a coalition of 36 central banks, including the People’s Bank of China. The Network helps central banks measure and mitigate the risks to the financial sector posed by climate change. Last month’s statement signals that climate change has well and truly arrived as an issue for central bankers.
Whilst organisations in the UK are legally or voluntarily required to take a number of actions to have a positive impact on climate change, many do this through partially gritted teeth or to support a self-serving marketing angle. Whilst this may sound harsh, if most of our biggest organisations were to look at themselves in the mirror, I am sure they would admit they could do a lot more but short term profit driven goals prevent it. What will it take for climate change to move far enough up the risk register for a genuine shift that sees an alignment of company goals with those of the wider society? Will it be too late at that point?
In Ian Stewart’s fantastic ‘Monday Briefing’, Climate change and the threat to financial stability, he explores this issue further through the regulatory lens and highlights a number of interesting points for organisations to consider. Short, sweet and thought provoking as ever!
Dougie McAndrew, May 2019