Can central banks save the planet?

Feb 24, 2021, 02:24 PM

“We are not going to lead our society to a low-carbon economy by continuing to finance the status quo. “

Central bankers now seem keen to take on responsibility for policy objectives they have previously shied away from – in particular, tackling climate change. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde acknowledged in January that central bankers will have to look beyond their traditional duties to address the challenge. ECB Executive Board Member Isabel Schnabel said in September 2020 that central banks should be an active part of the collective effort to reduce carbon emissions. Executive Board Member Fabio Panetta said ECB analysis can help make climate-risk valuations more accurate.

Should central banks continue accommodating corporate bonds and bank loans of high carbon companies as collateral, or should they reduce them?

Giuseppe Porcaro, is joined by Rebecca Christie, Jean Pisani-Ferry and Dirk Schoenmaker to discuss the hot topic of the role of central banks in greening finance and possibly contribute to decarbonisation.

The three guests of this episode recently published a series of blog posts which tackle the issue from complementary perspective:

Christie, R. (2021) ‘US separates climate concerns from financial oversight in contrast to EU activism’, Bruegel Blog, 18 February

Pisani-Ferry, J. (2021) ‘Central banking’s brave new world’, 24 February

Schoenmaker, D. (2021) ‘A brown or a green European Central Bank?Bruegel Blog, 24 February