Members of European Parliament ask ECB to disclose its own climate risk

January 25, 2021|Written by Graham Caswell|Bank of England, European Central Bank

A cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) asked the European Central Bank (ECB) to publish its own climate-related financial disclosures, in line with the bank’s strongly declared position in favour of climate-related disclosures for banks, companies and institutions.

The MEP group includes Pascal Canfin, Chair of the European Parliament’s Environmental committee. The request was submitted via a written question under Rule 140 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, giving the ECB six weeks to respond. A reply is due by early March.

In their written question, the MEPs refer to the Bank of England’s (BoE’s) June 2020 release of its first climate-related financial disclosure.

“Leading by example, the Bank of England has recently published its own climate related financial disclosures, including on its corporate QE portfolio,” the MEPs said. “A similar exercise for the Eurosystem’s balance sheet appears necessary for the ongoing debate on the future inclusion of sustainability criteria in the ECB’s strategic policy framework.”

The BoE’s disclosure revealed that its Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme (CBPS) was aligned with dangerous global warming of 3.5°C, attracting strong criticism from campaigners and from the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee for its mis-alignment with the Paris Agreement target of “well below” 2°C. It is likely that a similar disclosure from the ECB would also reveal mis-alignment and attract criticism. On the other hand, failing to disclose will cost the bank – not least in eroding its credibility when promoting climate risk transparency to others.

This page was last updated April 23, 2021

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