The first update to the Green Bond Principles (GBP) since 2018 was issued on Thursday, including formalising recommendations that bond frameworks and external reviews be used, and a recommendation of heightened transparency around issuer-level sustainability aims.
The final EU Taxonomy delegated act looks set to prove accommodating to green covered bonds, with a new leaked version aligning with current market practice of the top 15% most energy efficient buildings, as originally recommended by the TEG, and other criteria also relaxed.
A leaked updated draft of the EU Taxonomy delegated act contains looser eligibility criteria that would be applicable to a wider range of buildings, but it could still exclude green bonds under several existing frameworks and has been deemed inconsistent and still overly restrictive.
The Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (vdp) has established minimum standards for Social Pfandbriefe, which build on existing green and social standards, and proponents hope they will encourage standardisation and provide impetus to the sector.
A lack of data and confusion over standards could thwart EU Taxonomy-compliant green bonds with commercial real estate as their use of proceeds, according to speakers in a Berlin Hyp-CBI event, but the ambition of the European initiative was welcomed.
The Energy Efficient Mortgage Label will be launched on 12 February, offering a platform for lenders to provide data and transparency around green products and providing a “bridge” towards a greener market and potentially higher Taxonomy standards, according to the EMF-ECBC’s Luca Bertalot.
Draft EU Taxonomy standards threatens to stymie green bond issuance to finance green buildings by limiting eligibility to those with EPC A labels, with one pioneering covered bond issuer floating a switch to KPI-linked bonds, although there are suggestions the Commission may be open to compromise.
Green and social bond markets have withstood and even grown on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rooted in their businesses and CSR strategies, an increasingly diverse range of corporates are approaching the market — at times branching out into new instruments. In this Sustainabonds roundtable sponsored by ABN AMRO, corporate finance and responsible investment professionals share their insights and opinions around the latest developments.
A building’s energy efficiency has a negative and highly significant correlation with the risk of mortgage default, according to an Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative (EEMI) study, which it says is the fullest analysis of the subject and a timely finding as the European Commission sets out its post-Covid-19 agenda.
Sustainability-linked bonds will open the door for “a whole new group” of issuers to join the sustainable fixed income market, according to coordinators of the respective working group, who on Monday outlined the rationale for “versatile” Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles.