The EU High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance delivered a “manifesto for far-reaching change” in the form of its final recommendations to the European Commission today (Wednesday), with a call for an official EU Green Bond Standard to be introduced this year.
SpareBank 1 Bolgikreditt launched the largest single-tranche green bank bond outside China and the first green benchmark covered bond with residential mortgages on Tuesday, a EUR1bn deal made possible by taking building codes and years as a proxy for energy efficiency – a strategy that could be used by others.
SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt is preparing to issue an inaugural, euro benchmark green covered bond – the first from outside Germany – targeting the growing SRI investor base and aiming to highlight and enhance its member banks’ commitment to sustainability, SpaBol’s Eivind Hegelstad told Sustainabonds.
A world-first green covered bond law has been proposed by Luxembourg’s ministry of finance, with the draft bill defining a new product to finance renewable energy infrastructure. The move is just the latest green finance initiative in the country – whose covered bond market has meanwhile been in decline.
The German banking industry can boast pioneers of the green bond market, but overall the country lags its peers. What lessons can financial institutions in general learn about making the transition to sustainability from the experience of Europe’s largest economy?