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ECB appoints Irene Heemskerk as head of its climate change centre

30 April 2021

  • Irene Heemskerk will start on 15 June 2021
  • Head of climate change centre will report to President Lagarde
  • Climate change centre will shape and steer ECB’s climate agenda

The Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) has appointed Irene Heemskerk as head of the ECB’s climate change centre as of 15 June 2021.

The ECB launched its climate change centre earlier this year to shape and steer its climate agenda internally and externally, building on the expertise of all teams already working on climate-related topics at the bank.

“The climate change centre will focus the ECB’s efforts to address climate change,” said ECB President Christine Lagarde. “Irene Heemskerk brings the experience, knowledge and enthusiasm required to lead the climate change centre’s work and to strengthen the ECB’s role in the fight against climate change within its mandate.”

As head of the climate change centre, Ms Heemskerk will report to President Lagarde.

Ms Heemskerk, 45, currently works as a Sustainability Fellow at the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation. She was until recently advisor to the Chair of the Network for Greening the Financial System at De Nederlandsche Bank, a position she held between December 2017 and December 2020. Prior to that, she held various positions at De Nederlandsche Bank, including Secretary to the Supervisory Board and Legal Counsel. Ms Heemskerk also worked as a project manager on the revision of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code at the Ministry of Economic Affairs between October 2014 and December 2016.

Ms Heemskerk holds a master’s degree in international and European law from Leiden University and a master’s degree in law from the Academie voor Wetgeving in Den Haag.

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Union for Conservation of Nature for their Finance for Nature initiative.

For media queries, please contact Eva Taylor, tel.: +49 69 1344 7162.


  • The ECB climate change centre is a new unit that was set up earlier this year to bring together the work on climate issues in different parts of the bank. The climate change centre will shape and steer the ECB’s climate agenda internally and externally, building on the expertise of all teams already working on climate-related topics. Further information is available here.
  • Learn more about climate change and the ECB.

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