Sustainable Finance News: Putting sustainability on the agenda of central banks




Sustainable Finance News

3cd3e2fa-ce21-4fc2-aa37-844ef553f64c.jpgSustainable Finance Leadership Series

The Sustainable Finance Leadership series presents the views of key figures in the world of finance, climate change and sustainable development. This is the second in the series – the first by Jeremy Grantham on “The mythical peril of divesting from fossil fuels” can be read here.


From mission to supervision: putting sustainable prosperity on the agenda of the Dutch Central Bank

Frank Elderson, Member of the Governing Board of De Nederlandsche Bank and Chair of the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)

From mission…Our journey started in 2011, when we, as newly appointed Governing Board members of DNB, walked along a foggy Dutch beach discussing our core mission statement. Back then, the global financial crisis had just passed and had revealed the vulnerability of our prosperity. Lacking strong long-term economic and financial fundamentals, the prosperity we created prior to the crisis had turned out to be unsustainable. With this lesson in mind, we realised it was essential to link prosperity with sustainability.In spite of this lesson, the prosperity we are creating today is still not sustainable. Some of our economic activities result in significant ecological damage and will prevent future generations from obtaining similar or higher levels of prosperity than current generations. In the long run these activities are unsustainable. They could affect the real economy and translate into risk to the financial sector – not only in the future, but also today.Consequently, it is part of our mandate as supervisors and as a financial stability authority to ensure that the institutions we supervise are able to meet their contractual obligations. For this reason, as we made our way through the fog, we agreed that it is our mission as a central bank and supervisor “to safeguard financial stability and thus contribute to sustainable prosperity in the Netherlands”.- Read the rest of this article on the Grantham Research Institute website 

The mission of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) is to safeguard and contribute to sustainable prosperity in the Netherlands. Consequently, it sits within our mandate to incorporate sustainability into our supervisory practices. This means we expect financial institutions to have a more forward-looking approach on how relevant long-term risks can affect current businesses. It might come as a surprise to some that central bankers and supervisors are concerned about sustainability. In this post for the Sustainable Finance Leadership Series I describe how sustainability became part of our agenda and how central banks are now cooperating on sustainable finance, and I call on other supervisors to join our mission: global challenges can only be solved by working in close cooperation.