In the name of COVID-19: Is the ECB fuelling the climate crisis?

T. F. Cojoianu*, E. Collins, A. G. F. Hoepner, D. Magill, T. O’Neill, F. I. Schneider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We offer preliminary evidence drawing on a novel dataset of corporate bonds issued in the European energy sector since January 2020 in combination with the European Central Bank’s (ECB) purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) in response to COVID-19. We show that the likelihood of a European energy company bond to be bought as part of the ECB’s programme increases with the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of the bond issuing firm. We also find weaker evidence that the ECB’s PEPP portfolio during the pandemic is likely to become tilted towards companies with anti-climate lobbying activities and companies with less transparent GHG emissions disclosure. Our findings imply that, at later stages of the COVID-19 recovery, an in-depth analysis may be necessary to understand if, and if yes why, the ECB fuelled the climate crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-486
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Early online date27 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • climate finance
  • fossil fuels
  • green central banking
  • green economic recovery


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