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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.

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Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.

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