Tech & Science Under the pretext of "neutrality", the ECB would have massively supported polluting companies

22:35  20 october  2020
22:35  20 october  2020 Source:   latribune.fr

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Private debt buybacks carried out by the European Central Bank favor companies using a lot of fossil fuels, according to a study presented Tuesday by Greenpeace which calls on the ECB to do more for the climate.

Within the European corporate bond market, the ECB's portfolio shows "a significant imbalance in favor of climate-damaging businesses and industries," says a joint study published by Greenpeace, University of London, University of the West of England, University of Greenwich and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) think tank.

Energy consuming sectors supported in greater number

Their analysis shows that 63% of private bonds acquired by the ECB come from sectors using fossil fuels or consuming a lot of energy, on a stock of around 242 billion euros of securities held in the portfolio at the end of July.

'Crystal clear' Brexit deal with EU needed: ECB chief

  'Crystal clear' Brexit deal with EU needed: ECB chief European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Thursday that the high stakes for the post-Brexit economy make it likely Britain and the European Union eventually will reach a deal on the breakup. "When we do the calculation of how badly the UK on the one hand, (and) the European Union, on the other hand would be hurt by a no-deal situation, it's crystal clear that there has to be a deal," Lagarde said during a debate on the global economy during the virtual IMF annual meetings.She said she is optimistic about the chances even if the final deal might be inked "three minutes before midnight.

To support activity in the euro zone, the ECB launched in 2015 a massive debt buyback program, mainly public, but also private, the famous "QE" - for "quantitative easing" - aimed at injecting liquidity in the economy.

The ECB has in this way created 2.800 billion euros of currency to date with effects on employment and the economy.

Read also: Rates, loans to SMEs, QE: the anti-coronavirus potion expected from the ECB

Urgency to "lay the framework for a green European financial system"

The institution's buybacks respect a principle known as " neutrality ": securities are acquired according to their duration, volume and financial rating, which still ignores the environmental criterion.

"The ECB needs a new orientation that is more climate-friendly. To do this, it must align its monetary policy as quickly as possible with the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement and thus lay the framework for a European financial system green ", pleads in a press release Mauricio Vargas, financial expert at Greenpeace.

England invited to play limited-overs series in Pakistan

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Climate change, a subject for Christine Lagarde

In an interview published Monday by the daily Le Monde, the President of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, cautiously explained that she would "try to train the Governing Council" of the institution to "at least agree to question the legitimate action of a central bank to participate in the fight against climate change".

Climate change is one of the subjects that the Frenchwoman wishes to integrate into the vast project of "strategic review" of the ECB's mandate launched shortly after her arrival at the head of the institution, a year ago.

Read also: Strategic review of the ECB: "An exercise that is both healthy and perilous"

England players agree 15% pay cut as pandemic hits ECB revenues .
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