Climate change and the ECB

Climate change affects everyone, including central banks. We at the ECB are well aware of this fact and we are contributing – within our mandate – to tackling this global challenge.

Our efforts are focused on supporting market participants, legislators and standard-setters, as they work towards identifying the risks emerging from climate change. We also support the development of a clear framework for addressing these risks.


Monetary policy and climate change

“The ECB, acting within its mandate, can – and should – actively support the transition to a low-carbon economy, in two ways: first, by helping to define the rules of the game and, second, by acting accordingly, without prejudice to price stability”

Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB

Speech


The ECB takes actions in three main areas of competence

Banking supervision

Supervisors engage with banks to raise awareness of risks emerging from climate change. The aim is to ensure that banks are able to manage these risks properly.

Financial stability

Financial stability experts measure and assess the risks posed to the financial system by climate change. Their findings are communicated to the public, to market participants and to policy makers.

Monetary policy and market operations

Experts in market operations consider sustainability when managing the ECB’s non-monetary portfolios. As part of the ECB’s asset purchase programmes, we have invested in green bonds. These investments are constrained by the need to avoid undue market distortions and maintain a level playing field.


The ECB is a member of the following groups

The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)

NGFS members include central banks and financial supervisors from all five continents. They look for ways to support a smooth transition towards a low-carbon economy. On 17 April 2019 they published their first report with recommendations on how central banks and supervisors can foster a greener financial system.

The Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG)

As a member of the TEG – a group set up by the European Commission – the ECB contributes to the development of a taxonomy (or classification system) that defines which activities are considered environmentally sustainable (green) or harmful (brown). Such a system will help investors direct their capital towards sustainable investments, for instance via green bonds.


Other initiatives

Green ECB

We are continuously working to reduce the ECB’s ecological footprint. If you are interested in what we have achieved so far, see our page on Environmental protection.

European Mobility Week

The ECB regularly participates in this event. It encourages colleagues to commute to work in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Earth Hour

The ECB has participated in this event since 2012. By switching off the lights in our main building, we seek to raise awareness about climate change.


Relevant publications