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SNB can continue to ignore climate risks, Swiss lawmakers say

swiss national bank
The Swiss National Bank HQ in Bern. KEYSTONE

The Swiss National Bank won’t have to take climate and environmental risks into account in its monetary policy, according to the country’s parliament.

While a number of institutions including the European Central Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank have started to address climate change issues, Swiss lawmakers on Wednesday followed the stance of departing SNB President Thomas Jordan, who has repeatedly said that the central bank should have a narrow mandate focused on inflation control and shouldn’t put global warming on its agenda. 

+ Read more: Swiss central bank boss to step down

A center-right majority in parliament’s House of Representatives turned down five separate proposals of Green and left parties, voting 111-72, according to a notice on the body’s website. The identical bills aimed at adjusting the law governing the central bank to include a provision that the SNB “take climate and environmental risks into account in the conduct of its monetary policy.”

The decision is the latest blow against the agenda of Swiss environmental activists, who have frequently criticised the institution – in particular for investing its vast foreign-exchange reserves in pollution-heavy companies.

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