The Financial Stability Board (FSB) today published a report that examines the potential implications of climate change for financial stability.
The report analyses how climate-related risks might be transmitted across, and might be amplified by, the financial system, including across borders. It also sets out next steps for the FSB’s work in this area.
Current central estimates of the impact of physical risks on asset prices appear relatively contained but may be subject to considerable tail risk. The manifestation of physical risks could lead to a sharp fall in asset prices and increase in uncertainty. A disorderly transition to a low carbon economy could also have a destabilising effect on the financial system.
Climate-related risks - physical and transition risks - may also affect how the global financial system responds to shocks. They may give rise to abrupt increases in risk premia across a wide range of assets. This could alter asset price (co-)movement across sectors and jurisdictions; amplify credit, liquidity and counterparty risks; and challenge financial risk management in ways that are hard to predict. Such changes may weaken the effectiveness of some current approaches to risk diversification and management. This may in turn affect financial system resilience and lead to a self-reinforcing reduction in bank lending and insurance provision.
The breadth and magnitude of climate-related risks might make these effects more pernicious than in the case of other economic risks. Moreover, the interaction of climate-related risks with other macroeconomic vulnerabilities could increase risks to financial stability. For instance, certain emerging market and developing economies that are particularly vulnerable to climate change are also dependent on cross-border bank lending.
There are various actions that financial institutions can take - and are taking - to reduce or manage their exposure to climate-related risks. However, the efficacy of such actions taken by financial firms may be hampered by a lack of data with which to assess clients’ exposures to climate-related risks, or the magnitude of climate-related effects. Robust risk management might be supported by initiatives to enhance information with which to assess climate-related risk.
The FSB will conduct further work to assess the availability of data through which climate-related risks to financial stability could be monitored, as well as any data gaps.