The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) published it’s 2019 annual report. Frank Elderson (Executive Director De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) is chair of the NGFS and gives this introduction to the annual report:
The Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) was launched in December 2017, at the One Planet Summit in Paris. In 2019, we focused our work on confirming the various expectations created by the solid foundations the NGFS members collectively laid in 2018, in particular following the publication of the first NGFS progress report in October 2018. In many ways, this challenge has been taken up.
Let’s first focus on the stunning growth in our membership. At the end of 2018, the NGFS consisted of 24 members and 5 observers. In the space of one year, this more than doubled, as we had 54 members and 12 observers at the end of 2019. The new members and observers of the NGFS all contribute to making the Network a truly global endeavour.
In 2019, the NGFS released three publications. We published our first comprehensive A call for action report in April 2019. The report sets out six recommendations and provides a roadmap for central banks, supervisors and all relevant stakeholders to take action for greening the financial system. In July 2019, we released a technical supplement to our comprehensive report that presents the work done to date to model the impact of climate change on the economy and financial system. Our most recent publication, A sustainable and responsible investment guide for central banks’ portfolio management, was published in October 2019, on the occasion of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. The guide, which follows up on recommendation No. 2 of the comprehensive report, highlights the NGFS’ unique role in better equipping our community of central bankers to lead by example and to quite literally put our money where our mouth is.
The last year has seen a range of events hosted by NGFS members across the globe – from Budapest, Helsinki, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mexico City, and Paris to Rabat, Sydney and many more. NGFS members have also participated in many other events, including the COP25 in Madrid, to present and discuss the work of the Network. Building awareness and intellectual capacity, sharing knowledge and exchanging views is exactly what we need and is in line with recommendation No. 4 of the comprehensive report.
In 2019, I travelled to the United States several times to present the work of the NGFS. In September 2019, I spoke at the United Nations and the Bloomberg Global Business Forum during the United Nations Climate Week, and in November 2019, at the Conference The Economics of Climate Change hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Fransisco. Also in October 2019, together with NGFS representatives from the Banque de France, the Deutsche Bundesbank and Norges Bank, we presented the work of the Network and other national initiatives at the US Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Looking ahead to the year to come and keeping in mind our ability to deliver on our commitments, 2020 will certainly be another decisive year. Indeed, we still have a lot of work to do and the NGFS is planning to release in the short term a number of documents in particular on scenario analysis, supervision practices as well as a status report on financial institutions practices regarding climate-related financial risks. Currently, the corona virus and its consequences seem to overshadow everything else and, no doubt, they require coordinated action. However, even in this crisis, we should not lose sight of the fact that climate change stays an urgent and vital issue. Hence, the NGFS members’ strong response to continue their collective contribution tothe greening of the financial system is key. The greener the recovery from the current crisis is, the better,