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.
A coalition of 26 banks from around the world are developing Principles for Responsible Banking, which will seek to align the banking sector with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are expected to be launched for public consultation in November.
The European Commission unveiled its first legislative proposals aimed at gearing the EU financial system to tackle climate change yesterday (Thursday), including steps to establish a “groundbreaking” green taxonomy that could form the basis for an EU green bond label.
Banks assessing climate risks and opportunities in line with TCFD recommendations must look long term, make use of comprehensive scenario analyses, and adapt data collection, according to findings of a UN-convened pilot, which revealed positive impacts such as improved customer engagement.
Landshypotek Bank issued the first green covered bond from Sweden on Wednesday, a SEK5.25bn (EUR510m) five year issue that is the largest Swedish krona green bond to date and which achieved pricing at a sizeable “greenium”, exceeding the issuer’s expectations.