Are there any political scientists addressing the relationship between banks and states in the era of climate change?

I know this is a broad topic and I would assume I could easily find research articles. However, I am more interested in researchers who are perhaps also blogging about their research on this topic.

Also, I am particularly interested in writers who address risk distribution and cooperation (or lack thereof) between states and banks. It seems to me that banks have to assess new kinds of risks due to climate change. States want, on the one hand, banks to drive investments pushing the green agenda and, on the other hand, want to ensure financial stability, regulation and limits to banks' risks. States themselves are cooperating to some extent in order to prevent or manage climate change. And there is a ton of writing on banks and on state policies, but I find very little trying to analyze the relationship between banks and the state, where does state responsibility begin and bank business end? How is this labor of division drawn? And how is it influenced by green transition?

Any pointers towards interesting analysis on this topic is much appreciated.

  • 4
    Realistically and cynically: Banks do whatever makes the most money (which is boring stuff) and rich people get to drive the transition, which won't happen because it would be unprofitable for rich people.
    – user253751
    Feb 4 at 0:00
  • Banks are heavily regulated by states yet still powerful societal actors. Certainly, the relationship between banks and states transcends 'making the most money' because they have to negotiate with states the conditions under which they get to make money. The financial crisis of 2008 was for example used to legitimize new banking regulations in several developed countries. The PSD2-directive opens the door for 'open banking' forcing banks to take new directions (according to some banks). Basel I, II , III ... etc. Feb 4 at 9:09
  • Banks don't think that far in the future, they want to be profitable now and next year but not necessarily in 10 years. Feb 8 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


The reason for Basel 1 and the lot has to do how with how banks go around their core function: managing money and societies' risk exposure to how they manage money. Mostly it has to with reserve capital IIRC.

For banks, other than development banks, funding green transitions may very well be something they choose to do, either to pursue profit or to look good. But it is not their core mission, nor are they major factor in increasing climate risk (unlike their daft loan practices in 2000-2008), so why should they be regulated on it? If they don't get regulated then what exactly do you want States to do?

Society should tackle climate change head on, by reducing emissions and putting a cost on the negative externalities of CO2 (carbon pricing) by industries and consumers.

Banks are not major emitters so don't really seem a valid target. Though some measures to facilitate effective green investments, either by cutting red tape or preferential tax rates could involve banks as facilitators.

  • Thx for sharing your opinion and I agree with everything you say. However, the question asks for pointers to 'political scientists' and published analysis on the topic that is research-based although perhaps not published in journal form. I do not have a background in political studies but in economics, which is why I am asking. Feb 6 at 6:48
  • If it's not so useful, then why should there be a a lot of study about it? There are plenty of political science studies on bank regs. Plenty on climate change. Maybe the issue is that the intersection is not that worthwhile a consideration in terms of getting anything significant done wrt emissions or adaptation?, aside from banks facilitating policies on other axes. When I hear "state" and "commercial entity", I hear "regulation" (or "subsidies"). States should regulate as much as needed, no more. You are not making a clear case why regulation is needed, nor what type it would be Feb 6 at 19:18
  • surely banks should be expected to not just lend to everything profitable but also only to moral causes. If Iran comes to Deutsche Bank and wants a loan for $500,000,000 to help track down and execute dissidents, it'll be granted. It shouldn't be.
    – user253751
    Feb 7 at 8:23
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica this is a question-answer site. I ask for references you are offering none. Feb 7 at 18:32
  • And I am offering a frameshift answer, which is done on this site and questions the framing of the question. My answer is that your Q isn't asking about something that would be particularly useful to do research about, and I've cited the reasons why. Done w discussing this with you. Feb 7 at 20:13

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