Friday, February 05, 2021

Money won't end the climate emergency


Mark Carney,  formerly the Bank of England governor and the head of the Bank of Canada before that, is the United Nations envoy for climate action and finance, explained world is heading for mortality rates equivalent to the Covid crisis every year by mid-century unless action is taken. But his answer is smarter business investment. It is the "power of money" that will ultimately play the biggest role in combating climate change, he said.

He told the BBC that while there were parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, damage to the environment and ecosystems has the potential to cause many more deaths.

"One of the biggest issues is you cannot self-isolate from climate," he said. "That is not an option. We cannot retreat in and wait out climate change, it will just get worse. When you look at climate change from a human mortality perspective, it will be the equivalent of a coronavirus crisis every year from the middle of this century, and every year, not just a one-off event."

Governments pouring trillions of dollars into stimulus plans to rescue their ailing economies are mainly addressing job losses and the economic damage inflicted from lockdowns. Very little of that cash is heading towards reducing carbon emissions. 

He said: "The scale of investment in energy, sustainable energy and sustainable infrastructure needs to double. Every year, for the course of the next three decades, $3.5 trillion (£2.5tn) a year, for 30 years. It is an enormous investment opportunity." The answer lies in a global pot of $170tn of private capital. "The issue is about putting that money to work." The US has the "largest and most sophisticated financial sector" along with the "engineering and technological expertise" to get to net zero emissions, he said.

For decades all those great financial minds have tried to end the economic cycles of boom-bust-boom-bust to no avail. The inherent laws of capital accumulation, the profit motive, has always proved too strong. Carney like a magician now believes that the stock-market can accomplish the solution to the climate crises with a few investment tricks. It is illusion and delusion.

Mark Carney: Climate crisis deaths 'will be worse than Covid' - BBC News

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