BOJ's Kuroda calls for 'learning by doing' approach on climate change



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday the central bank will roll out steps deemed important for dealing with climate change, and stand ready to modify them as needed.

Kuroda said the BOJ must assist private-sector efforts to combat climate change as increasing natural disasters and a transition towards a carbon-free society could affect economic, price and financial developments in the long run.

Uncertainty over what is considered “green” and debate over how best to deal with climate change should not discourage central banks from acting now rather than later, he said in a speech focussing on the central bank’s approach on climate change.

“Waiting for specific standards and thinking to set in would delay responding to the imminent, global challenge of dealing with climate change,” Kuroda said.

“In responding to climate change, it’s best to kick off with steps that are deemed important, then modify them as needed. The key is to take the approach of ‘learning by doing’,” he said.

The BOJ edged closer to uncharted territory earlier this month by laying out details of a new scheme aimed at funding activities for combating climate change.

The central bank also released a list of other steps it will take on climate change, including a plan to start buying green bonds using its small pool of foreign reserves.

The BOJ’s green plans comes as other major central banks use their institutional heft to take on climate change.

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