ECB urged to think green

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    FRANKFURT- The European Central Bank should consider climate risk when buying assets or accepting them as collateral, top ECB policymakers said on Monday though Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann cautioned that price stability not saving the planet remained the ECB’s top priority.

    Joining the fight against climate change, possibly also via bond purchases, has been a key goal of ECB President Christine Lagarde since taking the helm just over a year ago.

    ECB Board member Fabio Panetta and Weidmann called for taking climate-related risk into account when conducting monetary policy.

    Panetta said the ECB could help when the market fails to price climate-related risk correctly.

    “By performing its own analysis of these risks on the basis of rigorous methodologies, the ECB can contribute to the accurate valuation of … climate-related risks,” Panetta said.

    While Panetta was mainly referring to the ECB’s lending operations for banks, policymakers are debating what role climate considerations should play in the institution’s purchases of corporate bonds.