KoalaKollektiv proudly presents: The Best Climate Killer Award 2021
Bubbling oil-champagne and a smoking trophy: On May 05, 2021, the KoalaKollektiv selected the winner of the Best Climate Killer Award in the category of National Central Banks.
It was no coincidence that the award ceremony took place on Germany’s Overshoot Day. Following a tough competition, none other than the Deutsche Bundesbank secured its place at the top of the podium.
The Best Climate Killer Award, sponsored and presented by the KoalaKollektiv, is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of hostility towards the climate and the destruction of our future. The National Central Banks category pitted numerous banks against each other, who together shape the monetary policy of the Eurozone in the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Despite tough competition, especially from Belgium and Austria, the Deutsche Bundesbank ultimately won the Europe-wide contest by a clear margin. The decisive factors were its unprecedentedly obstructive role in the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and the unconscionable interpretation of its mandate. Among other things, it caught the jury’s eye with its enormous creativity in the categories of “evasiveness” and “referring to the responsibility of others”. It is thus contributing more efficiently than any other central bank to global heating, which is already manifesting itself in forest fires, floods, and droughts.
Jens Weidmann – president, coach, and mentor of the Bundesbank – has come up with a great strategy for this competition. In his calculating and supposedly innocent way, Weidmann recently declared: Central banks do not have magic wands. No magic with which they could fight the climate crisis. A creative killer argument that earned him many points with the jury.
As part of the competition, activists from the KoalaKollektiv and 20 other NGOs sent an open letter to Governing Council members – including Jens Weidman – in February asking them to explain how they bring the monetary policy in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Once again, the Bundesbank passed with flying colours. A response reached the KoalaKollektiv on the final day of the deadline set in the open letter. The message was the following: Of course, something had to be done! But clearly, politics, governments and parliaments with their taxes and certificates were responsible. Perhaps the central banks could also ask companies to disclose their dirty business. But this did certainly not mean that they should be excluded. Weidmann demonstrates his ingenuity by presenting measures without effect.
In doing so, the Bundesbank skilfully ignores the Paris Agreement, which is binding under international law, and interprets its own core mandate in its maverick way. Its mandate is to ensure price stability. However, it is generally accepted that catastrophes triggered by global heating, such as storms and floods, destabilise the financial system. Even the Network for Greening the Financial System, which was co-founded by the Bundesbank, therefore recognises that climate protection falls within the mandate of central banks and supervisory authorities. The Bundesbank nevertheless manages to deny its responsibility. A rhetorical masterstroke.
But having reached the home stretch, one last hurdle awaits the competitors, with Weidmann and the Bundesbank leading the pack. Various NGOs such as 350, SumOfUs and the KoalaKollektiv are calling for the signing of a petition to knock the obstructionist Weidmann and the Bundesbank off course. More than 30.000 europeans signed.
The Bundesbank, meanwhile, has only one thing in mind: scooping up the Best Climate Killer Award!
And with one final effort, the work of the last months has paid off. We can see that the tactics of blocking constructive discussions on action against the climate crisis, superficial concessions, distracting words, and referring to the responsibility of governments have been worth it.
Update June 2021:
Recently, Bundesbank seems to make efforts for not receiving the Best Climate Killer Award again. For more information, read the article “Bundesbank: U-turn or Greenwashing?“