The response to the pandemic decisive for the transition to a green economy

Open letter of 45 think-tanks and NGOs to the European Central Bank on united recovery measures for the COVID-19 and the climate crises

On the occasion of the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) on April 30, 2020, a group of 45 think-tanks and NGOs across Europe, among which the Green Tank, wrote to President Christine Lagarde, urging the ECB to take into account the risks that the climate crisis poses to the global economy in its response measures to the pandemic.

The organizations call on the ECB to align its work with the renewed commitment of the European institutions to the Green Deal and the EU climate commitments, to provide a united front in the face of this global tragedy.

«The path to Europe’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis passes through an ambitios and strengthened European Green Deal, which will ensure the transition to a climate-neutral and socially just economy. Only in this way will the response to the pandemic ensure a sustainable future for our society. The European Central Bank, with the priorities and the criteria it will set, can and must have a decisively role in this transition», noted Ioli Christopoulou, Policy Director of the Green Tank.

«We co-sign this letter because we believe that the response to the pandemic must ensure a sustainable future for our society. Recovery measures must be in line with Europe’s climate targets and bring us a step closer to implementing the European Green Deal.,”..

The letter recommends five steps for developing sustainable recovery measures. These include: 

  • Aligning the ECB’s asset purchasing programmes and collateral frameworks with the Paris Agreement;
  • Aligning its refinancing operations to the banking sector with the Paris Agreement;
  • Supporting asset markets for sustainable investment and coordinating operations with the European Investment Bank (or other equivalent European institutions) to ramp up green investment;
  • Implementing prudential measures to increase the resilience of the European banking sector to climate risks and reduce brown financial flows (e.g. financing of fossil fuels);
  • Assessing and regularly communicating to elected officials information about the alignment of its operations with the Paris Agreement and that of the European Banking sector.


The letter and the complete list of signatories is available here.

A briefing paper providing additional information about the recommended five steps is available here.

Representatives of the group coordinating this letter (Council on Economic Policies, New Economics Foundation, Positive Money Europe, and met with Christine Lagarde in December 2019 to discuss the importance of integrating climate change in the ECB’s strategic review. Details about this previous engagement can be found here.