For years, climate activists have warned that a warming planet would bring devastation, disrupting not only developing countries and coastal communities but also the foundations of the global economy. Still, investors continue to pump billions of dollars into fossil fuels, governments prioritize policies to keep cheap oil flowing, and developers build on land that scientists say will soon be underwater. Kristalina Georgieva, 66, the environmental economist who took the helm as managing director of the International Monetary Fund in October, has spent much of her career studying the problem. Now, she says, a slew of climate-related disasters have finally awakened the financial sector and the economic leaders who guide it. “The tide is turning,” she told TIME in a Jan. 23 interview at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Georgieva plans to take advantage of this moment. The new chief of the IMF described a range of measures the global financial institution will take to prioritize climate change during her five-year term: supporting policies that require investors to disclose climate vulnerability, measuring a country’s financial situation in part by its preparation for climate change, pushing countries around the globe to implement a carbon tax. […]

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