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ECB to greenize monetary policy operations

Children holding placards participate in a rally in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Nov. 5, 2021.(Xinhua/Han Yan)

By taking climate change considerations into account, the central bank aims to incentivize companies and financial institutions in the euro area to reduce carbon emissions.

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday announced measures to incorporate climate change into its monetary policy operations.

By taking climate change considerations into account, the central bank aims to incentivize companies and financial institutions in the euro area to reduce carbon emissions.

"With these decisions, we are turning our commitment to fighting climate change into real action," says ECB President Christine Lagarde.

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde speaks during a press conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, Oct. 28, 2021.(Xinhua/Lu Yang)

The ECB promised to prioritize issuers with better climate change performance through the reinvestment of the redemptions of the corporate bonds it bought through its bond-buying programs. Limitations will be put on collateral assets issued by entities with a high carbon footprint.

The measures also necessitate climate-related disclosures for companies and debtors that use marketable assets and credit claims as collateral under the framework of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive as of 2026. Regarding risk assessment and management, the ECB pledges to "better include climate-related risks".

The ECB fell short of disclosing details of the measures but revealed that it will start publishing climate-related information on corporate bond holdings regularly as of the first quarter of 2023.

Photo taken on Oct. 16, 2021 shows a green gas installation in Haarlem, the Netherlands. (Photo by Sylvia Lederer/Xinhua)

The ECB initiated an array of bond-buying programs as part of its non-standard monetary policy measures in mid-2014. Although the programs came to an end as of end-June, the ECB will continue to reinvest the maturing securities it bought through the programs.

Data from the central bank's official website show that the total holdings under its Asset Purchase Program stood at 3.25 trillion euros (3.38 trillion U.S. dollars) and those under the Public Sector Purchase Program topped 2.58 trillion euros at the end of May. (1 euro = 1.04 U.S. dollars) ■