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Carney says advisers are central to climate change

Carney says advisers are central to climate change
 Mark Carney, UN special envoy for climate change

The former governor of the Bank of England has hailed advisers as "absolutely central" to the UK achieving its climate change goals and transition to sustainability.  

Speaking at a virtual conference hosted by the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association today (June 3) Mark Carney said the financial industry had now "jumped ahead" of the government to lead the way to a sustainable future. 

Mr Carney, who is now the UN special envoy for climate change and finance, said younger people were particularly focused on sustainability and good advice on how to invest their money would correspond with these values. 

He said: "You are absolutely central to this, you are serving your clients in a way that serves society ultimately."

Mr Carney added: "My experience in the last year is that the corporate sector and the financial sector has jumped ahead of government [in adjusting to what has to be done for climate change]."

Data collected throughout the coronavirus crisis has suggested advisers have seen a sharp rise in the number of investors looking to pile their cash into ethical and environmental funds since the beginning of the outbreak. 

It has been suggested the pandemic has driven a "seismic change" across markets through which ESG portfolios had fared well. 

But Liz Field, chief executive of Pimfa, said the rise in demand for responsible investing from clients was evident even before the coronavirus crisis and predicted the movement was "absolutely on an upward trajectory".

Environmental, sustainable and governance (ESG) investing takes into account ESG factors alongside financial markers in the investment decision-making process.

It has become a more commonplace part of the global investment space in recent years despite ESG campaigners long pinpointing a lack of interest from IFAs as the primary cause of the products’ slow take up in the UK retail market.

Recent research suggested advisers were coming round to the growing popularity of ESG funds. FE Fundinfo data showed the majority of IFAs increased their ESG allocation last year and expected it to grow further in 2020.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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