Strategy

Climate change is at the heart of our “Building 2024 Together” strategic plan

Climate change was one of six major challenges identified during the collective, forward-looking approach used to draw up our corporate plan. Adopted in 2021, “Building 2024 Together” seeks to strengthen our capacity to discharge our tasks (ensure monetary stability, preserve financial stability, provide services to the economy and society), while taking into account the consequences of these major challenges: it lists 30 new priority actions organised around four strategic objectives, the fourth of which is devoted to sustainable internal performance.
 

In all, five actions are focused on priority initiatives designed to get our institution ready for the physical and transition risks linked to climate change:

  • Adapt monetary policy operations to climate risks
  • Ensure the financial sector takes better account of climate-related risks
  • Assess the feasibility of incorporating climate risks into the company ratings process
  • Actively commit to carbon neutrality
  • Aim for digital sobriety in all our digital uses
     

Deliverables for these five action areas are tracked by the indicators described in the chapter on metrics and targets.
 

The Bank has also pursued a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme for many years. Among other things, it launched an ambitious responsible investment policy in 2018 with the publication of a Responsible Investment Charter, which it plans to develop further.
 

The Banque de France's strategy forms part of bold carbon emissions reduction targets adopted by the European Union (EU) and aimed at cutting emissions levels by 55% by 2030 relative to 1990 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The Eurosystem is making an extensive contribution to these efforts and aims to align its actions with advances in the EU's policy and initiatives in this area.

Climate risk at the heart of the mandates entrusted to the Banque de France and the ACPR

The physical and transition risks associated with climate change are a source of financial risk. Central banks and supervisors must recognise this risk and work to mitigate it within the framework of their mandates, while having a decisive impact on the development and promotion of sustainable finance. All the Banque de France’s tasks are thus concerned, from monetary strategy and financial stability to the services provided to the economy and society. The Bank is also applying a strategy aimed at exerting influence to promote a greener financial sector. Meanwhile, as a company, it is working to meet the goal of operating sustainably, which it applies to the management of its resources and own account investments.
 

A climate strategy built on climate-related risks and opportunities

 

Monetary strategy

Financial stability

Services provided to the economy

Sustainability

Action 3 

 

Adapt monetary policy operations to climate risks

 

 

Exert influence on the ECB’s monetary policy strategy review, especially the climate portion

 

Participate in the first climate stress test of the Eurosystem balance sheet

 

More effectively integrate the climate transition in the assessment of risks to price stability

 

Build a climate dimension into macroeconomic models and conduct scenario analysis

 

Incorporate climate risk in monetary policy operations

Action 11

 

Ensure the financial sector takes better account of climate risk, notably via the NGFS

 

 

Promote international cooperation between central banks and supervisors, notably through hosting the NGFS secretariat

 

Adapt the ACPR's climate stress testing methodology to the European level

 

Continue to track the climate commitments of French institutions

 

Promote the publication of transition plans by financial institutions

 

Include climate risks in prudential requirements, maintaining a risk-based approach

 

Better assess the financial impact of nature-related risks

Financial literacy (EDUCFI policy): Conduct initiatives to educate the general public and raise awareness about sustainable finance


Action  12

 

Assess the feasibility of incorporating climate risks into the company ratings system

 

 

Develop a prototype indicator to assess how companies are doing in terms of their exposure to and control of climate risks

Align the equity component of the own funds and pension liabilities portfolios with a 2°C trajectory, to be progressively lowered to 1.5°C

 

Action 22

 

Actively commit to a target of carbon neutrality

 

 

Actively commit the Banque de France to a pathway to carbon neutrality, setting intermediate goals for 2024 and 2030

 

Educate employees in climate issues and the Bank's environmental footprint

 

Action 23

 

Aim for digital sobriety in all our digital uses

…for monetary stability

Climate lies at the heart of our monetary mandate because of its effects on price stability. The transition to a low-carbon economy, spurred notably by the introduction of transition policies and technological developments, may feed through to activity and prices, starting with energy prices. Besides transition risks, extreme events linked to climate change are having increasingly visible effects on economic activity and prices, especially in the food sector.
 

The Banque de France is therefore backing the Eurosystem's strategy to ensure that monetary policy is more effective in taking climate issues into account. This is being done through improved integration of the climate transition in assessments of risks to price stability, notably in macroeconomic models, and through climate scenario analyses.

…for financial stability

Under their financial stability mandates, the Banque de France and the ACPR are taking steps to better understand the exposure of France's banking and insurance sectors to these risks and to ensure that they are capable of facing up to them. From a micro and macroprudential supervisory perspective, the main climate-related risks are the climate risks borne by French institutions. These risks therefore need first to be assessed more effectively through the long-term forward-looking view afforded by stress testing of banks and insurers. The question of additional capital requirements could be raised once all the risks are known, at French and European levels, and supplemented by the publication of transition plans of individual institutions.
 

The Banque de France and the ACPR are prioritising efforts to standardise climate stress tests and make them more reliable, in order to promote their widespread use as supervisory tools. Assessing the financial risks posed by climate change will also entail strengthening collaboration with the academic world by taking a multidisciplinary approach to the most relevant issues for the financial sector. The scope of risks being researched needs to be widened gradually beyond climate risk to include the impacts on the financial sector of risks related to nature and biodiversity loss.

...for services provided to the economy and society

The Banque de France rating provides an expert assessment of a firm’s short-/medium-term financial trajectory. Over 300,000 companies were rated in 2021.
 

Beyond the analysis of financial statements, default risk is assessed by identifying forward-looking aspects that could influence the company's situation. The Banque de France has undertaken work to recognise climate risks more effectively in corporate risk default assessments. Companies are getting ready for the energy transition, adjusting their business models and organising themselves to respond to market and regulatory demands for enhanced extra-financial disclosures, notably with the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) from end-2024 for large companies. Accordingly, ratings will need to change to reflect these developments if they are to remain a reliable gauge of the economic and financial situation of companies. With this in mind, a prototype climate indicator to assess companies’ exposure to and control of climate risks will be built for internal use at the end of 2022. 
 

France has had a national strategy for economic, budgetary and financial literacy (EDUCFI) since 2016. The Banque de France is in charge of implementing this strategy nationwide. The EDUCFI strategy is being executed through information and training initiatives designed to help people improve their practical understanding of financial topics. The fight against climate change is one of the subjects covered during presentations to student groups and in the resources made available to the public, particularly through a series of practical economic guides (ABC de l’économie) covering green finance, responsible finance and corporate social responsibility.

 

Find out more…
 

...Short Economic guide to sustainable finance: La finance durable | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

...Short Economic guide to green finance: La finance verte | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

...Short Economic guide to green bonds: Obligation verte | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

...Short Economic guide to the EU green taxonomy: La taxonomie verte européenne | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

...Short Economic guide to responsible finance: Finance responsable | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

...Short Economic guide to corporate social responsibility: Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises | Banque de France (banque-france.fr)
 

Promote a greener financial system

Climate change and the policies put in place to support the transition to a low-carbon economy are leading to a deep transformation of the economy. As a public institution, the Banque de France is involved in adopting and setting up an appropriate regulatory framework, to enable it to continue discharging its tasks. By virtue of its positioning within the financial ecosystem and at the heart of the French and European economy, the Banque de France can also use its influence to promote a greener financial sector, at home and abroad.
 

With this in mind, the Banque de France is prioritising continued efforts to invest for the NGFS, which is producing leading-edge work at international level on the procedures used by central banks and supervisors to integrate climate risk. A founding member of the network, the Banque de France acts as its secretariat, providing around 15 employees and hosting experts seconded from NGFS member institutions.
 

To analyse the financial risks linked to climate change, standardised and comparable data on company performances are needed. The Banque de France and the ACPR are involved in work at European and international levels to build an extra-financial reporting framework. They are promoting European disclosure standards for climate risk exposure that can be transposed to the international level, while supporting their proper application at domestic level.
 

As an investor, the Banque de France can also be part of helping to foster greener financial markets. In this regard, the financing needs linked to the climate transition are enormous, with at least EUR 350 billion in additional annual investment needed to meet Europe’s goal by 2030. The responsible investment approach adopted by the Banque de France since 2018 for a portion of its portfolios illustrates how an investor can implement this kind of approach and in so doing have a knock-on effect on the wider community of central banks and investors; with this experience, the Bank has also gained a better understanding of the practical issues and challenges entailed in putting such an approach into practice, allowing it to make a richer contribution to national and international discussions on ways to promote a greener financial system.
 

Research plays a decisive role in better understanding the financial issues linked to the effects of climate change, but also in exploring ways forward in terms of recognising these issues in the activities of the Banque de France and the ACPR. The in-house “Climate Research network” is pursuing an ambitious research agenda bringing together researchers from across all the Directorates General. Over 50 research projects are being conducted internally. Also, since 2019, the Banque de France has awarded prizes to young researchers working on green finance.

 

Targeting sustainability

In addition to discharging its tasks as a central bank and supervisor, the Banque de France is also acting under its own corporate responsibility and is targeting sustainability by taking account of climate risks for its own activities and curbing the climate impact of its physical operations and investments. The Bank has pursued a corporate social and environmental responsibility policy for many years. It is now its focusing on its own corporate actions, complementing the work done under its central banking and supervisory responsibilities.
 

The Bank is actively working towards carbon neutrality through an approach designed to slash its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with intermediate milestones set for 2024 and also 2030 (currently being determined). This ambitious programme is being taken forward by keeping up the reduction efforts underway since 2014 and proposes a new milestone for 2024 that will be decisive in achieving this goal. Specifically, GHG emissions across the Bank’s scope of operations are to be cut by at least 10% in 2024 relative to 2019. The programme is also based on a climate strategy that is consistent with the Paris Agreement and that activates all possible drivers, including setting a low-carbon trajectory through the 2030 milestone. It also integrates the development of new tools needed to steer these aspects in a robust and granular manner.
 

The Banque de France monitors the climate-related risk exposure level of its own funds and pension liabilities portfolios. It reports on this exposure in a specific report that draws on risk measures prepared by external service providers. The Banque de France’s Responsible Investment Report goes into greater detail about the identified risks.
 

The Banque de France is also committed to training staff through the development and deployment of training programmes intended to improve the workforce's understanding of questions relating to the climate and to sustainability more broadly. During the COP26, it set itself the target of training at least 50% of all employees by 2024.

 

Find out more…

...about the Banque de France's social and environmental responsibility policy (Annual Report, p.83-97): https://publications.banque-france.fr/rapport-annuel-2021-0

Check out the interactive table of contents

Find out more…

…interview with the Governor of the Banque de France on climate risk as a source of financial risk: https://www.banque-france.fr/intervention/lexpress-le-risque-climatique-fait-partie-du-risque-financier

…about the Eurosystem framework to support EU climate policies: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/search/review/html/ecb.strategyreview_monpol_strategy_overview.en.html

…about the Banque de France's 2024 strategic plan: https://www.banque-france.fr/en/banque-de-france/about-banque-de-france/building-2024-together-strategic-plan

Updated on: 11/30/2022 10:36