Charlotte Gardes-Landolfini, Pierpaolo Grippa, William Oman, and Sha Yu
The transition to a low-carbon economy, which is needed to mitigate climate change and meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals, has been affected by the supply chain and energy supply disruptions that originated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent energy crisis and exacerbation of geopolitical tensions. These developments, and the broader context of the ongoing “polycrisis,” can affect future decarbonization scenarios. This reflects three main factors: (1) pullbacks in climate mitigation policies and increased carbon lock-in in fossil fuel infrastructure and policymaking; (2) the decreasing likelihood of continuous cost reduction in renewable energy technologies; and (3) the likely intensification of macroeconomic shocks amid increasing geoeconomic fragmentation, and the associated policy responses. In this context, the note assesses the implications of the polycrisis for hypothetical scenarios used to assess climate-related financial risks. Following an analysis of the channels through which these effects are likely to materialize over short- and long-term horizons and some policy implications, the note proposes potential adjustments to the design of the climate scenarios used by financial institutions, central banks, and financial sector supervisors and regulators within their risk management frameworks.