Carney: carbon-intensive sectors at risk of searching ‘the shadows’ for capital
The UN special envoy said the move from voluntary to mandatory reporting was well underway.
The winding down of carbon-intensive sectors must be carried out in a “transparent and responsible way” to avoid such areas being “pushed into the shadows” to access capital, Mark Carney has warned.
Speaking at the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative Global Roundtable 2022, the special envoy on climate action and finance said it was in the financial sector’s best interest to avoid the problems of divestment and pursue engagement wherever possible.
Areas that will undergo a substantial winding-down of activities, such as fossil fuels, must transition clearly and pragmatically to avoid the formation of capital flows that subvert the efforts of the wider industry.
“There will be cases where activities need to be wound down. It's better for the system, if that's done in a transparent and responsible way, rather than pushed into the shadows,” Carney said.
He added that as systems of public reporting and data come together, stakeholders will be able to “form their own judgement” about “who's doing the right thing or who's acting consistently” in line with climate pacts.
“If you're not in that system, you're in the shadows by definition,” he added.
To best facilitate such systems, a move to mandatory reporting requirements would be necessary, Carney suggested.
He said the lesson taken from voluntary initiatives such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was that they “can only go so far” and it's beneficial to have the leaders in the private sector to “fill gaps” in shortcomings.
“But ultimately, to have universal coverage and to have consistency and credibility, you really do need to move to mandatory requirements,” he added.
Carney noted the industry must not “move too soon” as there is not yet a cohesive understanding of how best to implement such a system, but he stressed it must be done sooner rather than later.
He added that the “space” between the current voluntary approach and a future mandatory reporting environment was “much shorter” than many people anticipated. Discussions are ongoing, he said, between supranational bodies, regulators, industry alliances and market participants to “provide a basis” for decisions being made about converting the voluntary approach into a mandatory one.