DOI: 10.1177/1023263x231224726 ISSN: 1023-263X

Accountability of greening the ECB

Rosa M. Lastra, Sara Dietz
  • Law
  • Political Science and International Relations

Greening the European Central Bank (ECB) has been a highly debated subject in the Eurozone/EU, featuring in the ECB monetary policy strategy review and the ECB Climate Change Action Plan. This is part of a worldwide trend towards ‘sustainable central banking’. This article focuses on the accountability of the ECB as a European institution, which enjoys a very special position in the EU legal framework, with a defined mandate conferred onto it by the Treaties (TEU and TFEU). The question at heart is, first, whether the existing normative framework allows an interpretation and understanding of the ECB's mandate to incorporate sustainability goals, and second, how sustainability objectives can be operationalized in the actual conduct of monetary policy. Whether and to what extent the ECB objectives and tasks can be ‘greened’ depends also on the possibility of integrating such an augmented mandate with adequate accountability requirements. Building on the concept of accountability and the framework of ‘accountable independence’ of the ECB, the article considers the relationship between accountability and greening the ECB, with an emphasis on the monetary policy responsibilities.