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Former Bank of Canada Governour Mark Carney on economic challenges posed by climate change

Monday, October 05, 2015 6:10 PM | Christine Koenig

Here's a link to the full speech Mark Carney gave in London on September 29th at an insurers' meeting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=25&v=V5c-eqNxeSQ


"For Carney's audience at a Lloyd's of London black tie dinner, the issue is not a matter of left or right politics, but a matter of profit and loss.

Insurance companies often pay the bills when storms and flooding do their damage. Climate change is likely to make those insurable crises worse.

But perhaps more important, against those potential losses, insurance companies hold trillions of dollars in assets invested in all kinds of stocks and bonds. And Carney said those assets were threatened. Carney warned that oil, gas and coal companies may be worth far less than their current book value would suggest.

That's because a big part of their assets includes fossil fuel resources discovered but not yet extracted. Fears about climate change could render the vast majority of reserves "stranded," said Carney. In other words, the reserves would be left in the ground and unextractable.

The other part of Carney's warning was the danger that climate change would mean the entire global economy would become less productive, shrinking the future value of certain investment holdings.

"In the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity," Carney said in his speech. "While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking."

writes CBC reporter Don Pittis about Carney's speech

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