Bank of Japan Opens Push on Climate Change in Contrast to Fed

The Bank (Finance & Banking Trends) of Japan said it would help finance projects addressing climate change, adding to the debate over whether environmental issues should be part of a central bank’s mission.

The Japanese central bank’s plans released Friday include no-interest loans to commercial banks to support their lending for projects judged to be environmentally friendly and the purchase of green bonds in foreign currencies.

“We can reduce the concerns and the risk of economic instability caused by climate change by making it easier for companies to make such investments,” said Bank (Finance & Banking Trends) of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda.

The decision followed a July 8 action plan released by the European Central Bank (Finance & Banking Trends) in which the ECB said it would incorporate climate change broadly into its decision making and ensure that the companies whose bonds it buys are in tune with Europe’s climate targets.

The European and Japanese approaches contrast with the Federal Reserve, whose chairman, Jerome Powell, said in June, “We do not seek to be climate policy makers.”

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