Using a global dataset of over 840,000 equity, bond and syndicated loan investment banking deals, we build the fossil fuel investment brokerage profile of financial centres worldwide between 2000 and 2018. We also study whether city-level fossil fuel divestment commitments and country level green banking policies impact the profile of fossil fuel financial centres over our study time period. We find that several financial centres shift their fossil fuel investment brokerage profiles substantially, including the asset classes which they are active in. However, we do not find any evidence that this is driven by city-level divestment commitments. We do find however that fossil fuel investment banking brokers situated in financial centres exposed to voluntary green banking policies reduce their fossil fuel financing. This is driven by foreign brokers whose behaviour signals an anticipation of forthcoming mandatory green finance policies.
We offer preliminary evidence drawing on a novel dataset of corporate bonds issued in the European energy sector since January 2020 in combination with the European Central Bank’s (ECB) purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) in response to COVID-19. We show that the likelihood of an European energy company bond to be bought as part of the ECB’s programme increases with the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of the bond issuing firm. We also find weaker evidence that the ECB’s PEPP portfolio during the pandemic is likely to become tilted towards companies with anti-climate lobbying activities and companies with less transparent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions disclosure. Our findings imply that, at later stages of the COVID-19 recovery, an in-depth analysis maybe necessary to understand if and if yes, why the ECB fuelled the climate crisis.