Climate Webinar #4: The Role of Financial Sector Oversight

Tuesday, June 22

Mr. Guan Schellekens, Lead Supervisor, European Central Bank
Mr. Tibor Fejes, Lead Expert, Hungarian National Bank
Ms. Miroslava Gyurisova, Head of Unit, Czech National Bank 

Mr. Laurent Millischer, Economist, Joint Vienna Institute

This fourth webinar of the JVI webinar series on climate change economics looked at the role played by financial sector oversight in addressing climate change. It is commonly agreed that the main responsibility for climate policy rests with governments, who control taxation, subsidies and regulation. However, since 2015 and Mark Carney’s speech on climate change and financial stability, banking supervisors, macroprudential authorities and central banks’ financial stability departments have increasingly come into the spotlight. 

By pursuing their primary objectives of ensuring the stability of individual firms and the financial system , financial sector supervisors can also contribute to climate change mitigation. In the words of Frank Elderson, board member of the European Central Bank (ECB): “by compelling banks to adequately assess and manage climate-related risks, we are, in effect, safeguarding the financing of the transition to a low- carbon economy as well.”

Guan Schellekens presented the ECB banking supervision’s roadmap on climate risk. The ECB's approach is centered around the guide on climate-related and environmental risks which sets out the supervisory expectations on banks’ business models, governance, risk management and disclosure. A preliminary assessment of banks’ readiness revealed that there are still significant gaps in all four dimensions. 

Tibor Fejes introduced the Hungarian National Bank’s (MNB) Green Finance Report, a comprehensive publication aiming to measure the sustainability of the Hungarian economy and its financial system. The report will be published annually going forward and is part of the MNB’s wider green program, centered around three pillars: the financial sector initiatives, the domestic and international cooperation, and the greening of MNB’s own operations. 

Finally, Miroslava Gyurisova gave an introduction to the Czech National Bank’s (CNB) “prudent and risk-based” approach in dealing with climate risks. The CNB is developing methodologies to identify climate risks and will explore the possibility to enhance its stress testing framework.

The JVI focus on climate change

If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, global temperatures will keep on rising at an unprecedented pace, with catastrophic implications for lives and livelihoods worldwide. Economic policy has a pivotal role to play in changing the ways we produce and consume in order to slow climate change. 

Countries in the JVI region will not be spared the economic costs of rising temperatures nor the difficult task of transforming their economies within the next thirty years to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, this transformation also holds opportunities for countries in the region, such as public investment-triggered growth, good quality green jobs, and better health from reduced air pollution. 

In this context, the JVI will offer two new courses on the economics of climate change. The first one, “Climate Change and Green Finance”, coordinated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and the Austrian National Bank, will take place June 14-18, 2021. The second one, “Climate Change Economics”, coordinated by the JVI faculty, will take place September 13-17, 2021. We encourage you to visit the course pages and apply. 

Leading up to these two courses, the JVI will organize a webinar series on selected issues in climate change economics. In discussion with experts from the JVI partner organizations, academia, central banks, and other institutions, we will shed light on topics such as the political economy of climate change, carbon taxation, the role of financial sector oversight, and macroeconomic modelling – with a special focus on the JVI region. 

Laurent Millischer, Economist, JVI


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