Central Banking and Climate Change: A Policy Revolution Under Way

Stuart P.M. Mackintosh

Published: December 2019

A central bank revolution on climate change policy parallel to the 2015 Paris Agreement on steps to limit global temperature increases in this century may be under way, to achieve the essential collective carbon neutrality goals. In 2015 Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, warned of a series of climate change-related risks to the financial sector which could result from the process of adjustment towards a lower-carbon economy. A new organisation, the Network for the Greening of the Financial System (NGFS), was announced by eight central banks and supervisors in December 2017, growing to 46 by September 2019. The world’s central banks can and should set incentives to penalise carbon polluters and support the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Empirical evidence demonstrates changing incentives are effective in changing investment behaviours.

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