FROM THE BLOG
To reach net zero by 2050, the EU’s investment efforts are focused on two main areas: renewable energy and energy efficiency. The urgency for action has increased immensely given the current energy crisis. While the overall costs of green technologies have been decreasing and the scale of investments has been accelerating, the sudden and successive interest rate increases threaten to have a negative impact on the cost and the speed of the green transition. Only targeted monetary and fiscal interventions can counter the effects of rising rates and a deteriorating investment environment.
Extensive research shows that the past decade of low-rates monetary policy has significantly contributed to rising house prices, thus fuelling a self-propagating mechanism of wealth inequality and decreasing housing affordability. However, raising rates can also harm economic welfare. How can policymakers make a fairer housing market?
As bills rise, the planet gets hotter, and the energy crisis rages, fuelled by foreign fossil fuel exports, it’s clear that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels as we do now. In the European Union (EU), buildings are currently responsible for 36% of carbon emissions – we need to take urgent measures to reduce energy use in our homes. Our people-powered “Unlock” campaign is based on three key demands to make this happen.
The European Central Bank decided to raise interest rates, in an attempt to show its determination to fight inflation. However this decision is based on shaky justifications, which are likely to cause more harm than do any good for citizens’ purchasing power.
Inequality has long been a foremost public concern, but not so for central banks. While the orthodoxy according to which central banks engage in “neutral” policy-making is slowly crippling away, we’re still enormously far from taking the distributional consequences of money creation and allocation seriously. Intensifying the debate on the inequality effects of the central bank’s monetary policy is a small step in that direction. This blog suggests several starting points for that.
True to our commitment to being the bridge between people and the European Central Bank (ECB), ahead of the last monetary dialogue in June we collaborated with our friends at SumOfUs to collect our supporters’ views, expectations and concerns related to the ECB’s work. The results showed overwhelming support for ambitious and proactive environmental actions by the ECB. They also rang a bell about the need for clearer communication from the Central Bank on the effects of its interest rate hikes.
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