On 18 December 2019, the Bank of England (BoE) published a discussion paper which sets out its proposed framework for the 2021 Biennial Exploratory Scenario (BES) exercise. The objective of the BES is to test the resilience of the largest banks and insurers to the physical and transition risks associated with different possible climate scenarios, and the financial system’s exposure more broadly to climate-related risk.

The BoE is consulting on the design of the exercise and welcomes feedback on the discussion paper by 18 March 2020. The final BES framework will be published in the second half of 2020 and the results of the exercise will be published in 2021.

The BoE Governor, Mark Carney, said: “The BES is a pioneering exercise, which builds on the considerable progress in addressing climate related risks that has already been made by firms, central banks and regulators. Climate change will affect the value of virtually every financial asset; the BES will help ensure the core of our financial system is resilient to those changes.”

Sarah Breeden the BoE Executive Director sponsor for climate change said: “None of us can know exactly how climate change will unfold, but we do know that it will create risks to the financial system. I am excited that this ground-breaking exercise will for the first time allow us to quantify this risk and so determine the actions we need to take today if we are to minimise these future risks.”