François Villeroy de Galhau: Biodiversity, macroeconomics and finance - what we do know, what we don't know yet, and what we have to do

Speech by Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, at the Netherlands Bank/Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum conference on "Moving beyond climate: integrating biodiversity into financial markets", Amsterdam, 29 September 2022. 

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

Central bank speech  | 
30 September 2022

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be with you again today at this DNB-OMFIF conference on biodiversity. Let me start by sharing a memory: more than four years ago, I was here in Amsterdam for the very first conference of the nascent NGFS – and I must pay tribute to its first Chair Frank Elderson to whom we collectively owe a great deal for his passionate leadership on climate but also nature-related issues. At the time I called for green finance to be the "new frontier for the 21st century". The substantial progress made since then on climate change – disclosure, stress tests, greening of the monetary policy – is undoubtedly a source of optimism; but it also gives rise to two concerns : (i) despite this progress, the fight against climate change is far from over (ii) on biodiversity, which we are discussing today, our knowledge and tools lag several years behind those on the climate. Today, I would like to share with you clearly and purposefully what we already know (A), and what we don't know yet (B), before reflecting on what we have to do (C).

A.What we do know

1. We are facing an alarming loss of biodiversity

We can no longer ignore the warnings of a "Silent Spring". We are currently facing a global change in fauna and flora: some are rarefying or disappearing, while others are now thriving in environments that were until recently not suited for them. The figures are quite telling: 25% of studied species are threatened with extinction; scientist are talking about an ongoing 6th mass extinction, the first one caused by humankind.