Finance sector calls for action on low-carbon transition

The Bank of England and the UK’s biggest investment manager have both warned of the potential financial losses from failing to tackle climate change, as environmental activists blockaded central London.

On Wednesday, the bank warned that vast fossil fuel assets across the world are in fact worthless, considering that they are unburnable. “The estimated losses are large – $1tn-$4tn when considering fossil fuels alone, or up to $20tn when looking at a broader range of sectors,” said Sarah Breeden, Threadneedle Street’s executive director responsible for international banks supervision.

The loss would represent “a material share of global financial assets” and have a profound and potentially sudden impact on the global economy, she warned. “That underlines why the financial system needs an early and orderly transition. And why we need to change course now,” said Breeden.

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