Ignazio Visco: The G20 presidency programme on sustainable finance

Remarks by Mr Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF)-Sustainable Policy Institute symposium, webinar, 30 September 2021.

Central bank speech  | 
16 November 2021
  • Let me start by thanking David Marsh for his kind invitation to this symposium. In these brief remarks I will describe the work that we are carrying out in the G20, under the Italian Presidency, on sustainable finance.
  • The urgency of the problem of climate change and its disastrous consequences are plain for all to see. The images of last July's floods and the more than two hundred deaths in Germany and Belgium are still vividly etched on our memories. And this was only one episode in a long series of deadly extreme weather events: from the deep freeze and widespread power outages in Texas in February to the severe heatwaves and wildfires that hit Southern Europe in August, to the September deaths and damages caused by hurricane Ida on the North-East coast of the US. It is by no means a hyperbole to say that the harsh effects of climate change are felt on Earth almost every day.
  • Arresting climate change requires achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale over the next few decades. It is an urgent task: delaying action could be extremely costly and may prove to be ineffective. Yet, despite the fact that COP26 is approaching, in spite of widespread agreement on the targets that must be achieved by mid-century, individual countries' actual commitment to diminishing emissions has been unsatisfactory. The current UN Nationally Determined Contributions of all the 191 parties taken together imply for 2030 a 16 per cent increase in global greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2010 levels, against the 45 per cent reduction that would be needed. A successful transition requires, therefore, a stronger effort and closer global cooperation.