ESTABLISHING a good degree of pandemic resilience would have cost less than the economic output lost in just a single day of the covid-19 crisis. That missed opportunity is one indictment of market failings among many that former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney advances in our interview with him this week.

Another, perhaps the most troubling, is the inability of markets to value the natural world. How is it that we can put a value on Amazon, the company, yet only ascribe value to the Amazon rainforest by logging it and stripping it bare?

Carney’s critiques are worth listening to. He has sat at the top table of global capitalism for the past decade and a half. We have become in thrall, he says, to a dangerous market fundamentalism that fails to find value in things of real worth to all of us, things that create long-term prosperity: resilience, sustainability and equality of opportunity among them.

Failure to invest in pandemic controls before covid-19 is one example of this “crisis of value”. The growing climate and environmental crisis is another.

The technological solutions we need to reach net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century largely already exist. With a new US administration in place, the political momentum for change is gathering, too. Aligning market values with our values in the climate fight is now the missing piece.

Carney is at the centre of efforts to remedy that in the run-up to the crucial COP26 climate talks in the UK this November. Central to it all is the thing that oils all efficient markets: information. Establishing reporting requirements, for example, that make it clear how firms’ investment strategies fit with net-zero might not sound heroic, but it would allow everyone to make investment decisions based on their own, and society’s, values.

Carney found himself embroiled in controversy last month over the definition of net-zero investments used by the financial company he now works for. However, that only underscores the difficulty, and importance, of what is needed: robust action to rework markets to ensure they are transparently working for the benefit of us all.