Spotlight on France: Leading on green finance and sustainable investment

As today's Novethic* annual responsible investment conference has an agenda chock full of calls to asset owners, discussions on green bonds and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we thought it was time to review some of the leading markers France has laid down in the last few years to advance green finance.


Here’s some of our favourites:

  1. France has been a pioneer in the green bond market and the source of many firsts, including the first municipal green bond by Île-de-France in 2012. Île-de-France has continued to lead with multiple green bond issuances and won a Climate Bonds Green Bond Pioneer Award in 2016. 

    And let’s not forget the City of Light.  The EUR 300M Climate Bond issued on the eve of that momentous November gathering by Mairie de Paris is one of our favourites.

    The Climate Bonds State of the Market Report 2016 identified France as the 2nd largest country of issuance for labelled green bonds (with USD 15.8bn outstanding) and the largest issuer in Europe.

  2. With the passage of the French Energy Transition Law and in particular Article 173, in effect since 1 January 2016, they were the first nation to introduce mandatory climate and carbon risk reporting from institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies.


  3. The September 2015 announcement of the “Energy and Ecological Transition for the Climate” Label (TEEC).  The English version of Decree No 2015-1615 dated 10 December 2015 is here.


  4. The Paris Cop21 Conference and Agreement of November 2015.


  5. The November 2015 decision during COP21 by the Ministère de l’Environnement de l’Energie et de la Mer to become a Climate Bonds Partner, the only environment ministry anywhere in the world to take such a step.
    We should note that the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs were the first ministry to join our partners programme in June 2015, so the leadership honours are shared. 


  6. The July 2016 TEEC announcements and the decision to incorporate the Climate Bonds Taxonomy in the underlying TEEC definitions for green bonds.


  7. The September 2016 announcement that France would issue up to EUR 9bn of sovereign green bonds for three years from 2017.

    France is the first nation to make such a financial commitment following President Hollande’s foreshadowing of the move in April 2016

  8. The appointment of our Climate Bonds Director of Investor Outreach & Partners Programme Manuel Adamini to one of the four ‘colleges’ that make up the twenty-person Committee of the  Energy and Ecological Transition for the Climate Label, charged with oversight of certification and standards under the Label and recommendations to the Minister.


  9. The October 2016 EUR 900m (USD 982m) Climate Bonds Certified issuance by rail transport giant SNCF Réseau to fund rail upgrades.


  10. The November China / France agreement as part of the latest High Level Economic and Financial Dialogue. Note the commitments to climate action and green finance, including promoting cooperation between China and France on green bonds market development and supporting green bonds issuance in both countries. 


This Blog Post has grown in the drafting, space limitations mean we’ve left out many steps being taken by French banks, asset managers and pension funds. 


While we’re very proud at the appointment of a Climate Bonds Director to such a position from the TEEC Committee, we believe it must be seen in context of the global climate leadership France has displayed for some time now.


Vive la France!

‘Till next time,

Climate Bonds Communications


*We note that Novethic is a member of the Climate Bonds Initiative Partners Programme


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