A new Sveriges Riksbank Act entered into force on 1 January 2023. Sveriges Riksbank Act (2022:1568). The Act identifies two areas in which the Riksbank shall take sustainability aspects into account: in its asset management, the Riksbank shall promote sustainable development and, in its external monitoring, the Riksbank must identify threats to sustainable development. Sustainable development refers to long-term economic, social and environmental development (see Government Bill 2021/22:41, p. 82).
The overriding objective of the Riksbank’s activities remains maintaining permanently low and stable inflation (the price stability objective). Chapter 2, Section 1, Sveriges Riksbank Act. The Riksbank cannot ignore the fact that climate change and the climate transition may have an impact on price stability. The new Act also makes clear that the Riksbank, without neglecting the price stability objective, shall contribute to a balanced development of production and employment (consideration for the real economy). Chapter 2, Section 1, Sveriges Riksbank Act In connection with this, the preparatory works to the Act refer, among other things, to how the ECB’s secondary objective is to support the general economic policies of the EU, including sustainable development. See Government Bill 2021/22:41, p. 85: "Without neglecting this objective, the common monetary and exchange rate policy shall support the general economic policy of the EU. For its part, the Union’s general economic policy aims to achieve sustainable development based on balanced economic growth, price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, full employment, social progress, a high level of environmental protection and a better environment (Articles 3.3 and 119.2 of the Treaty on European Union, cf. Article 282.2 TFEU and Article 2 of the Statute of the ESCB). These subordinate objectives imply that real economic considerations shall be taken into account.” In Sweden, the Riksdag has approved the Paris Agreement on climate change, which the Government has subsequently ratified. The Paris Agreement stipulates that financial flows must be consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. The Riksdag has welcomed and approved the Government’s proposals for the direction of climate policy work. This climate policy can be seen as part of Sweden’s general economic policy, which the Riksbank, without prejudice to the price stability objective, shall support within the framework of its mandate.
The Riksbank shall also, without prejudice to the price stability objective, contribute to the stability and efficiency of the financial system. Chapter 3, Section 1, Sveriges Riksbank Act. The Riksbank shall thereby assess whether the financial system is stable and efficient, identify risks of severe disruptions or significant efficiency losses and report its assessments. Chapter 3, Section 9, Sveriges Riksbank Act. The Riksbank therefore also needs to continue to see climate change and the climate transition as factors that may affect financial stability.
For all measures taken by the Riksbank there must be support in law, which also applies to sustainability measures. Chapter 1, Section 5, Sveriges Riksbank Act. The measures must be objective and impartial with proportionality between objectives and means. Chapter 1, Section 9, Instrument of Government and Chapter 1, Section 8, Sveriges Riksbank Act and Section 5, third paragraph, Administrative Procedure Act, respectively.