In its strategic review, the European Central Bank has made the integration of climate change one of its priorities for the coming years. Using textual analysis methods, we study how this topic has appeared and evolved in the speeches of the ECB’s Executive Board members since 1997. After two decades of ignorance, the topic makes its entrance in 2018, a few years behind other central banks, and then really takes off from 2020, until it is present in almost every second speech in 2021. Above all, climate change is now addressed as a central banking issue, and problematised in terms of its impact on the ECB’s missions, mandate and instruments.
We propose an exploratory and theoretical study which introduces how and why a particular and innovative ecological accounting approach, the CARE model, currently called upon by a growing number of practitioners and researchers, is a relevant framework to re-conceptualise the issue of climate finance