European Central Bank (ECB) chief, Christine Lagarde, on Monday, January 25, 2021 stepped up the bank’s efforts to play a more prominent role in the fight against climate change.
Lagarde said this at an online conference, hosted by the Frankfurt-based Institute for Law and Finance in Frankfurt.
“At the ECB, we are now launching a new centre for climate change to bring together more efficiently the different expertise and areas of work on climate in the central bank,’’ Lagarde said.
“The ECB’s centre for climate change provides the structure we need to address the problem with the urgency and determination it deserves.’’
The new unit would consist of about 10 staff members, working with existing teams across the bank, according to the ECB.
Lagarde had already called for climate change to be included in the ECB’s monetary policy deliberations shortly after she was appointed ECB president in late 2019.
The topic is to be part of a far-reaching review of the bank’s operations, which was only recently reactivated after the coronavirus crisis forced the ECB to place it on hold.
Critics have, however, questioned whether a central bank should consider climate change in its policy, for instance giving preference to so-called green securities over other securities when buying bonds.
“Climate change affects all our policy areas,’’ Lagarde said.
“The fact that we’re not in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean we can just ignore climate change or that we don’t have a role in fighting it,’’ she added.