5 November 2021

Comment: Batman joins Robin at Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero

In the flurry of climate / net-zero emails that have flooded my inbox since the long-awaited COP 26 finally started, one press release stood out.

Take a deep breath - the headline is a mouthful...

UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael R. Bloomberg Joins UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney as Co-Chair for GFANZ.

The GFANZ - The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero – was launched in April and is a global coalition of financial institutions "committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the economy".

So Robin Carney will now share the GFANZ chair with his old TCFD pal, BatBloomberg, to steal the joke from Satirinomics.

As for everything with sustainability, the cynic will question what is driven by conviction and what is driven by opportunism. Only Batman and 'Boy Wonder' will truly know what drives them.

The cynic will also wonder why the UN felt the need to separate ambitions from actions in its portfolio of special envoys. Again the UN's drivers on climate change are probably only known by its secretary general António Guterres – a seasoned politician who, one might argue, sees in climate change the battle that will give the decaying UN its relevance back.

What is certain is that a new kind of politicians are emerging, ones that are riding the sustainability wave by conviction or opportunism. Bloomberg's run at the White House was short-lived. With net zero, at least, he's got nearly 30 years to run. But Carney's rise from investment banker at Goldman Sachs to the UN through the climate bridge, seems to augur some '[political] ambition that will be met with action'.

In the meantime, Batman's and Robin's adventures in the land of sustainability continues - and so does the 'tragedy on the horizon'.