On a High Note: UN Climate Envoy Wants Private Equity to Use Green to Go Green

UN Climate Envoy Urges Private Equity: Use Green to Go Green

UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney met with some of the world’s largest private equity firms, including Blackstone and KKR, as part of an ongoing effort to bring them aboard his sustainability initiative, the Glasgow Financial Alliance For Net-Zero (GFANZ). So far, the world’s largest buyout firms, controlling more than $130 trillion dollars in assets, have been reluctant to pledge carbon-neutral portfolios by 2050. In the past, firms argued privately that Carney’s initiative was too ambitious, and not feasible in light of their business models.

Though the results of these meetings have yet to be seen, they offer a renewed optimism that the private equity sector may be willing to shift toward sustainability. Given the outsized role these firms play in financing fossil fuels and the lack of transparency around their investments, a move to invest in green businesses could have a massively positive impact on the path to net zero. A win-win is that growing evidence suggests sustainability is good for business. Last year, a group of climate-focused investment funds raised $16 billion in one month alone.

The Global City: Keynote address by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy, Climate Action and Finance, March 13, 2022.

Bloomberg: Net-Zero a Ruthless, Relentless Focus for GFANZ: Mark Carney, November 1, 2021.