In Madrid today, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Mark Joseph Carney of Canada as his Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance.
As Special Envoy, Mr. Carney will focus on ambitious implementation of climate action, with special attention to significantly shifting public and private finance markets and mobilizing private finance to the levels needed to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This will include building the frameworks for financial reporting, risk management and returns in order to bring the impact of climate change to the mainstream of private financial decision‑making and to support the transition to a net‑zero carbon economy.
Mr. Carney has held numerous positions in finance, both in the private and public sectors. He is currently Governor of the Bank of England and will become a member of the United Nations staff when he ceases to work for that institution. He also served, from 2011 to 2018, as Chair of the Financial Stability Board and Governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008 until 2013.
With the world far off track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement — which set out to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C — temperatures can be expected to reach 3.4 to 3.9°C in this century if current climate policies and ambition levels under nationally determined contributions are maintained. That reality would bring wide‑ranging and destructive climate effects for humankind and natural ecosystems.
Unprecedented climate action is needed on a global scale and public as well as private financial systems must be transformed to provide the necessary finance to transition to low‑emission and resilient systems and sectors. The Secretary‑General will count on Mr. Carney to galvanize climate action and transform climate finance in the lead‑up to the twenty‑sixth Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Glasgow, in November 2020.
Mr. Carney began his career at Goldman Sachs before joining Canada’s Department of Finance and later serving as Governor of the Bank of Canada. Born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, in 1965, he earned a bachelor’s in economics from Harvard University, going on to receive a master’s and a PhD in economics, both from Oxford University in the United Kingdom.