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17 Jul 2020, 13:39
Benjamin Wehrmann

Climate activists protest in Frankfurt against ECB's monetary policy during pandemic

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Supporters of different climate action organisations have protested in Frankfurt against the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy during the coronavirus pandemic, Matthias Trautsch writes for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. About 70 activists from the Fridays for Future movement and other organisations said the bank's policy is increasing social inequality and global warming, calling the ECB headquarters a "crime scence of the climate crisis." The activists claim the bank "disproportionately" buys up corporate bonds of companies that have a negative impact on the climate, for example from the coal, gas and automotive industries. The ECB plays "a central role in the growth-oriented capitalist economy" and will "inflate" the value of assets through its pandemic response programme, they said. The groups are instead calling for money to be put into public coffers that allow the state to invest in socially and ecologically desirable projects, Trautsch writes.

The impact of financial market actors on climate change has increasingly moved into the focus of attention over the past years, with both the European Union and the German government working on regulation to better integrate finance in climate policy plans and avoiding that investments in fossil industries and other climate-damaging practices undermine emissions reduction efforts. Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, has said it opposes using the ECB as a vehicle for climate action, arguing that the bank's mandate is maintaining price stability and challenging its "democratic legitimation" to intervene in climate policy.

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