Wednesday , 6 December 2023
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Global Economy

Bundesbank publishes first climate report

The Bundesbank presented its first climate report today. In the report, the central bank publishes, among other things, calculations of the greenhouse gas balance and other climate indicators for parts of its investments. In particular, the Bundesbank's own investments were measured, which have nothing to do with the securities purchases of the European Central Banks (ECB).

These investments by the Bundesbank primarily include Pfandbriefe issued by banks, so-called covered bonds, which are largely secured by real estate mortgages and most recently had a volume of EUR 10.4 billion. According to the central bank, the most recent CO2 footprint of these securities in the company's own portfolio was 0.13 tons of CO2 per one million euros of investment.

"Green" and "brown" part of the portfolio

In comparison with commercial banks, comparatively low values were calculated, explained the Bundesbank. However, the greenhouse gas emissions financed by the commercial banks through their investments or loans were not included in the calculations. The data situation is still insufficient here. The proportion of the bank's own portfolio that directly promotes environmental protection or is "green" is just under two percent, compared to 0.4 percent for European banks. The environmentally harmful or "brown" portion is a good 0.1 percent, compared to 0.8 percent for commercial banks.

The Bundesbank's climate report is based on the specifications of the US Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD). This sustainability framework, created by the Financial Stability Board, defines what information is included in corporate or institutional sustainability reports. Such frameworks also exist, for example, from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Future information on corporate bonds

The Bundesbank's report deals with the topics of governance, strategy, risk management and key figures and targets. In the area of risk management, companies or organizations must disclose which climate-related risks they have identified and how they deal with them.

The Bundesbank dispensed with climate indicators in the report on the monetary policy purchases of government and corporate bonds – the volume of which is many times higher than its own portfolio. The ECB intends to publish climate indicators for the corporate bond purchase program for the first time next year.

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