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CAROs: Climate Risk-Adjusted Refinancing Operations


  • Florian B¨oser

    (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Chiara Colesanti Senni

    (Council on Economic Policies)


Policy makers have argued that markets are not pricing climate risk appropriately yet, which may lead to a misallocation of resources and financial instability. Climate risk-adjusted refinancing operations (CAROs) conducted by the central bank are one possible instrument to address this issue. CAROs are characterized by interest rates on reserve loans, which depend on the climate risk exposure of the assets held by the borrowing bank. If private agents and the central bank have differing beliefs about the likelihood of the transition to a low-carbon economy, the allocation emerging without CAROs is, from the central bank’s perspective, suboptimal and may lead to financial instability. We find that an appropriate design of CAROs allows the central bank to influence bank lending in a way that induces the optimal allocation under its beliefs and eliminates financial instability. Moreover, we show that investment into climate risk mitigation reduces the need for central bank intervention, and that CAROs can be used to achieve specific climate-related allocation targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian B¨oser & Chiara Colesanti Senni, 2021. "CAROs: Climate Risk-Adjusted Refinancing Operations," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 21/354, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:21-354

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    central bank; banks; refinancing operations; interest rates; climate risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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