An INSPIRE Briefing Paper

This paper is designed to provide central banks and financial supervisors with an empirically based toolbox of options to align their crisis response measures with climate and sustainability objectives and mitigate potential sustainability risks.

The first edition was published in June 2020. This second edition significantly expands the empirical assessment of the COVID-19 crisis response of central banks and supervisors globally and examines how far central banks are incorporating climate and other environmental factors into their COVID-19 strategies and wider operations.

The core finding of the updated report is that there is currently a divergence between crisis response measures and wider efforts to promote sustainable finance. So far, less than 1 per cent of central banks and supervisors from 188 economies have directly connected their crisis response with sustainability factors.

The Toolbox part of the paper presents the policy tools available to central banks and financial supervisors, distinguishing between conventional (often sustainability-blind) measures and those that are sustainability-enhanced, in other words they take climate and wider sustainable development factors into account. The authors present nine different types of tools, grouped in three broad areas: monetary policy, financial stability, and ‘other’.

The paper also lists the responses to the COVID-19 crisis taken to date by monetary and financial authorities in 188 countries (as of 5 October 2020).

The authors conclude that central banks and supervisors should now work to overcome the gap between their strategic commitment to climate action and the delivery of crisis response measures. Practical steps include the development of agreed sustainability classifications that can be applied to calibrate their crisis interventions, and updating core conventions such as the ‘market neutrality’ principle. In future research, they will investigate the technical and regional implementation details of our four priority actions.


This Toolbox has been produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS for the International Network of Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research and Exchange (INSPIRE), a research stakeholder of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

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