The major central banks in the world have become important actors in global financial governance. While their decisions and actions are motivated by their domestically focused mandates, they exert powerful influences on global economic governance. They are, additionally, seen as playing important roles in international efforts to address climate change, through social, political, and economic transitions from a carbon intensive to a zero carbon economy and inequality. Ultimately, they occupy an unusual position in the architecture of global financial governance. However, their international responsibilities for the extra-territorial impacts of their decisions and actions are not well defined. There are no international standards to guide their conduct in regard to these impacts, as well as no mechanisms through which those outside their home jurisdictions who are adversely affected by their decisions and actions can hold them accountable.
The Project on Public Finance and Human Rights supports impact, actionable research on frameworks for assessing the role that central banks play in global economic governance. This research will explore ideas related to and suggest standards that can be used for guiding the role of central banks as global economic governance actors in the future. These standards will pay due regard to the domestically determined mandates of central banks and to their home states international legal obligations, as determined by the international treaties that they have signed and customary international law principles that are binding on them. They will also examine concerns that these standards may only be relevant to the major central banks and may create challenges for central banks and economic policy makers in other countries.