London, 18 June 2020 – Research and campaign group Positive Money has called for the Bank of England to act on the climate risk of its own balance sheet published today, by taking measures to ensure its activities are aligned with the government’s climate goals.
The Bank of England’s first ever climate-related financial disclosure revealed that if the projected emissions performance of the Bank’s corporate quantitative easing (QE) portfolio was representative of the emissions performance of corporates globally, the world would experience 3.5c of heating by the end of the century.
Disclosure of the Bank of England’s climate risk was a recommendation of Positive Money’s 2018 report, ‘A Green Bank of England’. In March Bank governor Andrew Bailey pledged to make decarbonising its corporate QE programme a priority, in response to an open letter co-ordinated by Positive Money. However Bailey has since failed to act on this commitment, with fossil fuel companies still featuring in the updated list of eligible bonds for further rounds of corporate QE, published in April.
Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money, said:
“It’s disappointing to see the Bank of England still sticking to myths of ‘market neutrality’ to justify newly created public money supporting companies who are driving us towards irreversible climate breakdown.
“The Bank of England’s own balance sheet is supporting 3.5c warming through corporate QE – more than double the 1.5c safe upper-limit. Our central bank now needs to put its money where its mouth is and ensure its QE programme is supporting the government’s climate commitments through the Paris Agreement, rather than hindering it. At a minimum this means no more buying bonds from the likes of climate criminals such as Shell and BP.
“It is good that the Bank of England has finally published its own exposure to climate risk, but there is still room for more transparency. For instance, the Bank has refrained from publishing full details of what companies it is invested in through corporate QE, and by how much.”
- Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters. www.positivemoney.org
- For any questions or for interviews with a spokesperson please contact email@example.com or 07817765517