Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada’s top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and climate finance.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement while speaking to reporters in Madrid on Sunday, adding the move will take effect next year.
Carney was due to step down as bank governor early next year, having already extended what was meant to be a five-year term.
During his tenure, the former investment banker played a key role in trying to manage the British economy as the country prepares to leave the European Union.
Carney drew international recognition during his five years at the helm of the Bank of Canada, and at one point was named on Time magazine’s “most influential” list.
He took over the job at the beginning of 2008 amid the first signs of the financial crisis, and has been widely credited for helping Canada weather the recession by keeping interest rates low.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of a climate summit that opens in Madrid on Monday, Guterres described Carney as “a remarkable pioneer in pushing the financial sector to work on climate.”
Urged financial sector to think about climate risk
Carney, who is due to step down as head of the Bank of England in January, has urged the financial sector to transform its management of climate risk, and led various international initiatives to improve supervision and disclosure.
The Bank of England said Carney would seek to make the impact of climate change central to financial reporting, risk management and the calculation of returns ahead of a global summit in Glasgow in November 2020.
“The disclosures of climate risk must become comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and investing for a net-zero world must go mainstream,” Carney said in a statement.
He has spoken of “stranded assets” — deposits of coal, oil and gas that might lose their value if the world shifts away from carbon — and decried a lack of transparency about the effect on global warming of trillions of dollars of potential investments.