Former Bank of Canada governor touts pandemic lessons for climate battle

By: Terry Haig
he former governor of the Bank of Canada who later held the same post at the Bank of England is drawing a glass half-full lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Carney says the way scientists and governments around the world worked collectively to combat the pandemic could provide the momentum for a similar  approach to the climate change crisis, adding that the collaboration highlighted the vital role that scientists and expert advice played in solving large problems.
Carney, who is now UN’s special envoy for climate change and finance, made the comments Sunday in an interview on CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live, noting that virtually no country had escaped the health and economic effects of the coronavirus.
“We can’t self-isolate from climate change,” Carney told Barton. “Ultimately, we’ll all be affected. So we all have to act.”
“There’s a recognition that the advice of scientists should be listened to. They advised on the risks of pandemics and we didn’t fully listen to them anywhere in the world,” he said.
“They’ve been advising for a long time of the risks on climate change. It is time to listen.”
In a new book to be released tomorrow, Value(s): Building a Better World for All ,Carney argues that the pandemic has given people an opportunity to “sit back and reflect” on what they value most, adding that values he’s seen emerging are sustainability, solidarity and fairness across generations–all of which, he said, require more comprehensive action on climate change, according to report by CBC News.
Carney is currently advising the United Kingdom government to help it prepare to host the next UN climate summit, COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
He said that part of that meeting will focus on how the private financial sector can “retool” so that companies take climate change into account when making financial decisions.
In the CBC News report, Carney said a move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy offers a “huge economic opportunity” for Canada.
“If we can take this opportunity as Canadians to address the issue, respect that there are multiple ways to improve sustainability in this country, build a sustainable future but also build a very strong economy alongside, that would be a tremendous outcome from what has been an extraordinarily difficult year,”  Carney said.
With files from CBC News,