Robert Holzmann: Climate protection - state of play, division of labor, steps forward

Welcome remarks by Dr Robert Holzmann, Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, the Austrian central bank, at a conference organized by the OeNB in cooperation with SUERF, Vienna, 7 October 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
07 October 2021

Honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,

A warm welcome to everybody – those participating here on the premises of Oesterreichische Nationalbank and those of you participating remotely. I am delighted that at least some of you were able to join us on-site, which gives us a taste of normality in exceptional times. But the impression of "back to normality" is deceptive. The pandemic has compelled us to adjust to a new normality, which helps us learn to adapt our society and economy to another new normality – the long-term challenge of climate change, the topic of today's high-level event.

Who would be better suited than Lord Stern to give a bird's-eye view of the current state of play in global and European climate protection and adaptation politics? Professor Nicolas Stern chairs the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. He was Chief Economist of the EBRD and, later, of the World Bank. I remember many productive interactions when I served at the World Bank's research committee that he directed. Lord Stern later held several positions including that of the Second Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty's Treasury, but may be best known for heading the influential Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006. His publication record is impressive, encompassing more than 15 books and 100 articles. Among the various prizes he received is the Austrian Schumpeter Award. At the award ceremony here at OeNB six years ago, he highlighted the opportunity that low-carbon technologies offer to generate prosperity and wealth.