BOJ to Pursue ‘Learning-by-doing’ Approach to Climate Risk

Japan’s central bank to offer zero-interest funds to FIs making loans and investments to tackle climate change.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will pursue a “learning-by-doing” approach when it comes to supporting the private sector in addressing climate change, according to governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

“Waiting until specific guidelines and ideas are fixed will only delay our response to the urgent global issue of climate change,” Kuroda said. “In addressing climate change, it will be important to adopt a learning-by-doing approach: implement the crucial measures first, then make adjustments when necessary.”

The BOJ recently outlined a new climate strategy, under which the central bank will offer zero-interest funds to financial institutions making loans and investments to tackle climate change.

The fund-provisioning measure is considered appropriate because it takes into account market neutrality and policy flexibility, however policymakers see the need for an in-depth analysis of the economic impact it will have on efforts to tackle climate change.

The task of deciding what investments and loans qualify for the programme is left to private-sector financial institutions. Following its scheduled launch later this year, the new programme is expected to run until March 2031.

The BOJ does not have plans to prioritise purchases of green bonds issued by companies and other entities as part of its asset-buying programme, though such bonds may naturally be part of the corporate bonds the central bank purchases.

“Offering funds to financial institutions is probably most effective under Japan’s economic and financial system,” Kuroda said.

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