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ICAEW urges new Bank of England Governor to get tough on climate change

6 March 2020: Bank of England Governor-in-waiting Andrew Bailey should keep Threadneedle Street’s top-level focus on climate change, 100 industry leaders – including ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza – have urged in an open letter.

The letter calls on Bailey, a former CEO of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, to “lead by example” and make it mandatory for firms to disclose climate risk “as soon possible”. It adds fossil fuel assets should be excluded from any future tranches of quantitative easing and the assets the bank accepts as collateral.
 
The letter was coordinated by research and campaign groups Positive Money, the New Economics Foundation, Greenpeace, E3G and the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance.
 
Positive Money Executive Director Fran Boait said: “As the institution overseeing and underpinning our financial system, the Bank of England must lead the way and do everything it can to stop environmental breakdown being funded on its watch. With less than a decade to drastically cut emissions and avoid irreversible climate breakdown, Andrew Bailey must ensure that climate remains high on the Bank’s agenda. These steps are a necessary starting point.”
 
In February, the ICAEW, as part of The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) Accounting Bodies Network, called on the profession to put sustainability and the fight against climate change at the forefront of its work.
 
Commenting on the accounting bodies pledge, Michael Izza said: “As we face the climate emergency head on, it’s crucial we chartered accountants use our unique position as advisers to business and policymakers to make the case for sustainability.”
 
Bailey will replace outgoing Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on 16 March.