News | 05 June 2018

Central banks can lead in disclosure of climate risks

From New Economics Foundation, Greenpeace, Germanwatch and others
Euro Skulptur

Central banks need to walk the talk on increasing transparency and publicly disclosing the financial implications of climate change ( May 15).

At the end of 2015, the Financial Stability Board highlighted the urgent need for greater transparency on climate risks and put climate change firmly on the agenda establishing the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Just over two years later, central banks and financial regulators have laudably convened to produce a work plan on how to green the financial system. We are calling on them and their peers to lead by example by disclosing the climate risks and financial implications of climate change on their own balance sheets.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has suggested that the severity of climate risks to financial stability could result in a “climate Minsky moment”, involving a rapid, system-wide downward repricing of assets. He has also highlighted that climate risks and opportunities are currently “shrouded in secrecy”, and the more transparent we make markets “the more we will all benefit”.

It seems sensible that central banks take the lead in transparently reporting climate-related financial disclosures. Such action is further warranted in view of the number of central banks that have taken an interventionist role in the economy, building up portfolios of government and corporate securities via quantitative easing. Evidence from the UK and eurozone suggests that these portfolios are highly skewed towards carbon intensive sectors.

As central banks are public institutions, with losses on their balance sheets often indemnified by taxpayers, there is a particular onus on them to walk the talk. Greater transparency and disclosure is thus not only imperative to ensure coherence with their public statements, but also a duty to society, which central banks are ultimately accountable to.


ATTAC Ireland


Better Europe Public Affairs

Christian Aid

Conseil Scientifique de la Fondation pour la Nature et L’Homme

Climate Strategy and Partners


Corporate Europe Observatory

Debt Resistance UK

Next Systems Project - Democracy Collaborative



European Environment Bureau

European Alternatives

European initiative for a Finance-Climate Pact

Finance Innovation Lab

Finance Watch

Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Friends of the Earth Europe


Global Justice Now

Global Forest Coalition

Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University

Global Witness

Global Warning

Green Budget Europe

Green Economy Coalition


International Institute for Law and the Environment

Institute Veblen

International Trade Union Confederation

Jubilee Debt Foundation

Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)

New Economics Foundation

NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark

Notre affaire à tous


Positive Money (UK)

Positive Money (EZ)


Purposeful Money

Rethinking Economics

Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Share Action

Social Value UK



Stamp Out Poverty

Transparency International

Transparency Task Force

World Future Council