Press Release

Paris, July 4th 2022 – Today, the European Central Bank (ECB) published the first update on its year-old “climate roadmap”. Despite minor progress, this update fails to remedy the roadmap’s major shortcomings. It confirms that the ECB lacks ambition to truly align with European Union (EU) climate goals and could even continue to support major polluters. In this context, Reclaim Finance calls on the ECB to swiftly exclude fossil fuel developers from its purchases and collateral framework and set up a green lending facility.

Announced in July 2021 following the ECB’s strategy review, the ECB’s first climate roadmap (1) marked a symbolic turning point in the bank’s approach to climate change. One year after this announcement, the ECB updates the general public on the advancement of this roadmap and the new steps it plans to take to further consider climate change in the coming years. 

The measures exposed in the update go slightly further than the initial roadmap. The ECB notably goes beyond a pure financial risk logic. It integrates criteria related to climate impact in its asset purchases – brought forward to October 2022 – and in its collateral framework – newly announced for the end of 2024.  

However, the update does not address the roadmap’s major flaws (2). The criteria put forward to decarbonize asset purchases and collaterals remain vague and would enable major polluters – including fossil fuel companies – to continue to benefit from the ECB’s support (see Reclaim Finance’s summary and analysis of the measures in the table in annex). Furthermore, no measure is taken by the ECB to help fund the EU transition. 

Paul Schreiber, campaigner at Reclaim Finance, says:While climate science shows we just can’t build more coal mines or oil and gas wells, the ECB keeps on providing safe harbor to the assets of fossil fuel developers (3). By failing to cut off these polluters, the ECB ignores the call of more than 173 000 Europeans. It also worryingly disregards the current geopolitical and inflationary situation (4) that necessitates swiftly reducing the EU’s fossil fuel dependency.”  

In this context, Reclaim Finance calls on the ECB Governing Council to urgently supplement its climate roadmap (5). The NGO stresses the need for the Eurosystem to end its support to fossil fuel developers and set up a green lending facility (6).   



  1. See the ECB’s 2021 strategy review and ECB’s first climate roadmap. 
  2. For more information on the ECB’s climate roadmap, see Reclaim Finance’s July 2021 press release and NGO joint statement. A coalition of NGOs also published an updated set of key demands to the ECB on climate following the publication of the climate roadmap. 
  3. For information on the civil society mobilization for the exclusion of fossil fuel companies, see for example Reclaim Finance’s blog and the survey and mobilization organized around the ECB in 2020-2021. 
  4. For more information on the current inflation trend, see the ECB’s Economic Bulletin. 
  5. In its press release, the ECB notes that the Governing Council is committed to regularly reviewing all the measures aiming at considering climate change. The Governing Council “will assess their effects and adapt them, if necessary: (1) to confirm that they continue to fulfil their monetary policy objectives; (2) to ensure – within its mandate – that the relevant measures continue to support the decarbonisation path to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and the EU climate neutrality objectives; (3) to respond to future improvements in climate data and climate risk modelling or changes in regulation; and (4) to address additional environmental challenges, within its price stability mandate”. 
  6. Christine Lagarde recently said she was in favor of considering such a tool.  

Annex – Summary and analysis of the update’s measures:

Category Announcements Analysis
Asset purchases  The share of assets on the Eurosystem’s balance sheet issued by companies with an allegedly “better climate performance” will be increased compared to that by companies with a “poorer climate performance”.  

The ECB notes that “better climate performance will be measured with reference to lower greenhouse gas emissions, more ambitious carbon reduction targets and better climate-related disclosures”. 

Implementation should begin in October 2022 and “further details will follow shortly before then”. The new criteria should affect 30 billion euros of reinvestment per year with current monetary policy.  

The ECB will also start publishing climate-related information on corporate bond holdings as of the first quarter of 2023. 

The ECB brought forward the “decarbonization” of corporate asset purchases to October 2022. However, as it is, it won’t lead the Eurosystem to exclude companies that are especially detrimental to climate change mitigation (including fossil fuel developers). 

The broad criteria mentioned by the ECB would merely favor companies that perform relatively better than others on basic climate indicators. The precise list of indicators is not yet defined. The ECB mentioned during an outreach event that it will create aggregated climate scores for companies, a method that could facilitate the inclusion of companies with significant negative environmental impact but decent disclosure practices. 

It is worth noting that similar types of criteria were used by the Bank of England (BoE) for its own asset purchases. If the BoE included a coal exclusion, its framework proved not ambitious enough to achieve the related climate goals. Key recommendations were provided to the BoE by Reclaim Finance and would be relevant for the ECB. 

Colateral framework The ECB plans three steps regarding its collateral framework: 

  • In 2022: include climate risks in haircuts. 
  • By the end of 2024: limit the share of assets issued by entities with “a high carbon footprint” that can be pledged as collateral. 
  • As of 2026: ensure that the assets accepted as collateral come from CSRD compliant companies. 
The announced measures on collaterals are welcome.  

However, the ECB falls short of excluding assets from major polluters – including fossil fuel developers. Furthermore, the implementation timeline for these measures remains particularly slow and only a limited portion of collaterals falls within its scope. 

Credit rating The Eurosystem will push for a better integration of climate risks in credit ratings.  

It will also implement its own standard for the integration of climate risks into Eurosystem central bank’s own in-house credit ratings by the end of 2024. 

The level of influence that the ECB can have on credit rating agencies remains unclear.  

Similarly, the expectations of the ECB regarding climate risks integration in credit ratings are yet to be clarified. They must notably account for the double materiality of these risks.