Luigi Federico Signorini: Sustainable investment choices - emergencies and transition

Speech by Mr Luigi Federico Signorini, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, Venice, 11 June 2022.

Central bank speech  | 
09 August 2022

                                                Καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῆς γῆς κατεκάη, καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῶν δένδρων κατεκάη, καὶ πᾶς χόρτος χλωρὸς κατεκάη.

A third of the land was burned up, along with a third of the treesand all green grass.

Revelation 8:7

Your Most Reverend Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A few months ago, when, at the kind insistence of your Chair, I accepted the invitation to take part in this event, the topic I had indicated was 'Climate transition: the role of finance and of financial supervision'.

Times have changed. Over the last hundred days, we have seen the horrendous daily spectacle of indefensible aggression and war play out before our very eyes. We have seen, albeit from far away (now that every part of the world is, whether it likes it or not, an eyewitness to what happens in every other part of the world), human suffering and material destruction on a scale that we no longer believed was possible in Europe after the days of Sarajevo and Srebrenica. The economic consequences of the conflict, while indirect, have been felt here at home too: a slowdown in GDP, a surge in prices, and supply chain insecurities.

I therefore felt it necessary to change the topic of this conversation as well so that it better reflects current developments. And you will forgive me for also choosing to add a verse from Revelation as an epigraph, to symbolise the anxieties of today and tomorrow. Indeed, the emergency situation of the last few months has blended with the emergency of the century – climate change and the need for a transition towards sustainable development. If the Book of Revelation speaks of the mystery of the end of time to a believer, to a secular person the verse that I have quoted serves as a dramatic and quite literally effective reminder of the challenge threatening humanity and the planet, its 'common home', for which it must care.