Weekly roundup: Fed politics and XR target BoE

August 27, 2021|Written by GCB News|Bank of Thailand, Bank Negara Malaysia, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve

ECB’s Schnabel on climate change

The European Central Bank (ECB) published an interview with Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel over the weekend, with a focus on what the central bank is doing in response to climate change. “Climate change has far-reaching effects on economic developments and therefore also on price stability,” Schnabel said. “It exposes the economy to more frequent macroeconomic shocks, which has an impact on growth and inflation.” Schnabel outlined the ways that both the physical and transitional effects of climate change can cause inflation, and gave her views on the ECB’s corporate bond purchases, financial stability, climate risk, banking and more.


New green strategy from Bank of Thailand

The Bank of Thailand is to work with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission, the Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy office and other regulatory authorities to implement a series of key strategic initiatives aimed at the sustainable transformation of the financial sector, according to a report recently released by the central bank. To be implemented by 2026, the new plan includes a “practical” green taxonomy and an improvement in the quality, depth, immediacy and price of sustainable finance data. There will also be fiscal, prudential and non-financial incentives for the transition and a focus on creating demand-led products and services building human capital with the relevant skills.


The Fed and US climate politics

Writing in the New York Times on Thursday, Neil Irwin looks at the US political environment surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve’s engagement with climate change. Beginning with the growing calls for President Biden to replace Jerome Powell as Fed Chair because of his lack of climate leadership, Irwin points to opposition to any climate action from climate deniers in the GOP. He quotes Yale Program on Climate Change Director Anthony Leiserowitz who attributed a decline in US public concern about climate change to “widening political polarization and a pivot of conservative media toward climate change denialism.” Ending with Fed Governor Lael Brainard’s warnings about the economic and financial shocks associated with climate change, Irwin worries that US climate climate politics may become even more “toxic and dysfunctional.”


Bank Negara Malaysia launches climate website

The Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has launched a new website focusing exclusively on how the central bank is protecting the Malaysian financial sector from climate-related risks. The new site includes information on the impact of climate-related physical, transition and liability risks to the financial system, and on the BNM’s aims, approach, strategy and expected outcomes. It also offers details of the various climate-related initiatives the BNM is involved with at an international level, and includes links to all of the central bank’s climate and environment statements and publications.


Extinction Rebellion rallies outside Bank of England

The week ended with the civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion (XR) rallying outside the Bank of England (BoE) ahead of a march through London’s financial district in protest at social and climate injustice. Climate activists briefly occupied the area outside the central bank and turned it into a “giant play area” where speakers including Green MP Caroline Lucas addressed the crowd of several thousand people.

The march went on to the headquarters of Standard Chartered Bank where fake blood was thrown on the building to highlight the $31.4bn (£23bn) the bank has invested in fossil fuels since the Paris climate accords were signed. The Guildhall City of London headquarters received similar treatment before the march ended with speeches outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square.

“Profit extraction has meant that there has been racial inequality, social inequality and climate collapse,” said XR activist Bhavini Patel during the march. “It’s interlinked, and if we want justice we need to be demanding justice for all three things, so that we are equal as people.”

Today’s “blood money march” was one of the largest of many protest activities and acts of civil disobedience by XR activists over a two-week period specifically targeting UK banks and the financial system for their role in financing the fossil fuel that causes climate change. The group is calling for an immediate end to all financing of fossil fuels projects.

This page was last updated September 21, 2021

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