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Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos by Win McNamee, Alex Wong, Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Corbis, Oliver Douliery/AFP, and Noam Galai Via Getty Images

The world's top economic institutions are going deeper in the fight against climate change, and central banks are re-evaluating policies and pushing new principles to integrate climate-related risks into financial supervision, leaving the U.S. behind.

On one side: The effects of climate change are everywhere, European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane said during the IMF's fall meetings last week.

  • "Every sector will be affected … it’s absolutely core to central banking."
  • "To deliver our core mandate we absolutely have to be involved," Lane added.

That sentiment has been backed strongly by ECB chief Mario Draghi as well as Bank of England President Mark Carney, who's organized a coalition of 46 central banks and regulators called the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). Last week the network published a technical guide to help its members weave sustainability into portfolio management.

On the other side: President Trump yanked the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement and his administration announced "climate change will not be on the agenda" at the June G7 meeting.

  • Fed chair Jay Powell called climate change "an absolute first-order issue" in a speech earlier this month, but said it was not clear to him if it's "a first order of business for central banks."
  • The Fed and Bank of Brazil are the only major central banks not taking part in NGFS.

The big picture: While the IMF and World Bank have for years examined climate and pushed for carbon pricing, the institutions are getting more active — substantively and symbolically.

  • A senior IMF official tells Reuters that the fund is looking at how much climate-related risks are priced into market valuations.
  • "We are going to look at stock markets country by country, then by sector,” said Tobias Adrian, who heads IMF's monetary and capital markets department.
  • And as the Financial Times notes, new IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva announced that the organization “is gearing up very rapidly to integrate climate risks into our surveillance work."
  • "For the IMF, we always look at risks, and [climate change] is now a category of risk that absolutely has to be front and center in our work," she said.

Go Deeper:

Go deeper

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

2 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.

Congress' chip-funding pause raises alarms

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, a plea by the Commerce Secretary and growing desperation from industry officials, Congress still can't get a key bill that funds the U.S. chip business over the finish line.

Why it matters: With the global chip shortage continuing to crimp the economy, the semiconductor industry has ramped up pressure for funding of U.S.-based manufacturing facilities as one remedy.

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