The Bank of England announced that it will cut funding for climate change initiatives first championed by Canadian economist and central banker Mark Carney.

While serving as the Bank’s governor from 2013 to 2020, Carney led several sustainability efforts including climate change insurance risks, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores and more. 

According to Bloomberg, inflation and current fiscal challenges means that those projects will no longer get the same priority as the Bank of England dedicates more resources to traditional economic concerns. 

The group Net Zero Watch welcomed the shift, saying that it’s long overdue. 

“Its obsession with climate change, promoted and pushed through by its former governor, Mark Carney, in tandem with government ministers, has for years distracted it from its main responsibilities. Instead, it has been enforcing ESG disclosure guidelines, carbon-testing balance sheets and promoting Net Zero policies,” said a press release. 

“During his time as Governor, Net Zero Watch criticised Mr. Carney repeatedly, warning that his climate activism and his intimidation of financial institutions and pension funds into costly Net Zero targets would eventually lead to policy failure and a distressed correction. This correction appears to have now begun.”

Net Zero Watch director Benny Peiser urged the Bank to further abandon “green virtue-signaling” and focus on the country’s financial system. 

“Unless the Bank of England abandons its fixation with green virtue-signalling, it is only storing up more problems for the economy and the UK’s financial system,” said Peiser. 

Despite the downgrading, the Bank of England has said it will continue to study how to best tackle environmental concerns.

On Monday, the Bank issued a report discussing the need for long-term policy on climate change. 

“Existing capability and regime gaps create uncertainty over whether banks and insurers are sufficiently capitalised for future climate-related losses,” wrote the Bank.