Stakeholders have largely welcomed the release of long-awaited green EU taxonomy proposals, which attempt to lay down green criteria to support sustainable finance, but opinions were divided over the extent to which weaknesses in the first draft had been addressed.
Moody’s has warned that the development of energy efficient mortgages, and increasing momentum in the clean energy transition that this reflects, will hit the value of buildings that do not meet new minimum requirements, as well as securitisations and cover pools exposed to such collateral.
The Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) Initiative unveiled its definition of an energy efficient mortgage today (Monday), in response to European Commission and EeMAP pilot needs. Only last week a Pimco portfolio manager called for greater additionality from green covered bond issuers.
DZ Hyp will at the beginning of 2019 begin work on a green bond project, after the issuer on Tuesday launched its first benchmark Pfandbrief since being created from the merger of DG Hyp and WL Bank to become Germany’s biggest covered bond issuer.
Support is being sought from the European Commission for a “market activation framework” to take the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative into its next stage, an EMF-ECBC official told an ECBC plenary, which also heard positive noises, with caveats, on sustainable finance from the German Ministry of Finance and BaFin.
Investors active in green bonds stressed the importance of accountability and impact reporting offered by bonds aligned with the Green and Social Bond Principles, but showed flexibility in their investment strategies, in responses to a survey that evinced a mainstreaming of the product.
Green covered bond issuance looks set for significant growth thanks to regulatory measures, increasing investor interest and banks’ efforts to improve the identification of green assets and determination to finance such assets, according to S&P, with initiatives such as EeMAP deemed supportive.
The parliament of Luxembourg unanimously approved the world’s first green covered bond law yesterday (Tuesday), “a first point of reference” for the developing market.
KBC is preparing to issue an inaugural green bond, in senior unsecured format, with the Belgian group today announcing a roadshow to introduce a new framework under which it can issue both secured and unsecured bonds, building on momentum generated by Belgium’s first green government bond in February.
2018 is proving a banner year for green bonds in Hong Kong, with the launch of certification and subsidy initiatives, and a planned green bond programme by the government. Ahead of co-hosting with ICMA the 2018 G&SBP AGM and conference, Enoch Fung, Head of the Market Development Division of the HKMA, spoke to Sustainabonds about Hong Kong’s green bond hopes.