As far as former Bank of Canada and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is concerned, Corporate Canada has no problem pouring money into climate initiatives – but their investments largely hinge on the broader society’s values.
Financial markets naturally gravitate to where demand is greatest and “money flows to the solutions,” according to Carney, who said it’s up to Canadians to “shift the equation” and put more emphasis on environmental considerations.
“We say this is what we value. Our values, our sustainability, our future for our children, passing on this great environment that we inherit here in Canada,” he said in a broadcast interview for CTV’s W5 and BNN Bloomberg.
“Then what happens in markets and financial markets - and we are seeing it right now in real time - is all of a sudden the market reorients itself and says, wait a minute, if that's what people want, then it's valuable.”
Investors now have more information about a company’s climate impact than ever before, according to Carney. Moreover, retail investors have greater access to that information, thanks in part to increased disclosure requirements by regulators and the influence of major global money managers such as Blackrock Inc.
Carney said that makes it easier for all market participants to ensure their investment decisions are aligned with their attitude towards combating climate change. And whether it’s carbon capture technology, electric vehicles, or hydrogen technology, he stated that business investment will flow to where society sees value.
He also said there are positive signs that companies are changing their perception of climate change.
Whereas businesses previously focused on climate change as an ever-growing risk, Carney said now attention has turned to becoming part of the solution by searching for innovative ideas and getting people to work on implementing them as quickly as possible.
“It's very welcome that we've moved in that direction. We have obviously farther to go.”
He said the world is “quite late” in the game to addressing climate change, but that it’s not “too late.”
“It costs much less to act now than it will to constantly repair the impacts of climate change, to make very abrupt changes to our economy and our way of life.”