August media digest: Financial Times, Forbes, Zawya, Bloomberg, Reuters, IFR, Xinhua, Handelsblatt, Börsen-Zeitung, L’Opinion and more



EU taxonomy:

Financial Times, Valdis Dombrovskis seeks EU deal to combat ‘greenwashing’, Jim Brunsden

Europe’s financial services chief continues his advocacy for universal adoption of EU green taxonomy. He told FT that he thinks taxonomy should be legally binding.

Valdis Dombrovskis told the Financial Times that a deal on such a classification system was essential for the EU to achieve its broader climate goals. It would underpin future initiatives, such as an EU green bond for financing environmentally sound projects and an eco-label for financial products, he said. 


Financial Times, Green bond issuance hits $66.6bn in second quarter, Billy Nauman

FT’s summarises Moody’s second quarter market update that showed “resurgence” in demand for green bonds after slow down in 2018. Moody’s analysed several aspects of the state of the market including standard development.

The EU published guidance on green bond standards in June, but there is still no legally binding taxonomy for the sector, and that opens the door for so-called “greenwashing”.  “Quite clearly companies are looking for a new way to issue bonds targeting a receptive audience that’s desperate for this paper,” said Mr Kendall from Insight. “We still see bonds come to the market where there are questions over the greenness.”


Forbes, European Issuers Could Send Global Green Bond Market Soaring Past $200B, Gaurav Sharma

Moody’s endorsement of the EU’s taxonomy also highlighted in Forbes.

Moody's said continued green bond market growth would be supported by the EC's proposed taxonomy for environmentally sustainable economic activities and a report on a proposed EU green bond standard.


The Business Times, China plays fast catch-up with the global ESG wave, Matthew Mcadam, Jonathan Rogers, Daniel Wagner

Authors argue that despite continuing reliance on coal, China’s renewable energy and green finance landscape is changing. They suggest that China will be adopting guidelines set by the recently published EU taxonomy.

It is also likely that China will harmonise its sustainability guidelines with the European Union's recently published Green finance taxonomy, whereby definitions of what constitutes a sustainable use of proceeds will necessarily prod the country's Green bond issuers to adopt sustainable business practices. 


Zawya, Green bond purists overlook benefits of grey, Swaha Pattanaik

Author advocates more tolerance for “shades of grey” in green bond issuance but praises the developments that bring clarity to the market such as EU taxonomy and Green Bond Standard.

And earlier this year, a trio of reports prepared for the European Commission weighed into the debate. One, a 414-page doorstop, laid out a classification system for environmentally-sustainable economic activities. A second drew on that work to recommend comparable criteria for issuing green bonds, while the third set out the methodology and minimum technical requirements for climate-friendly benchmark indices. 


Les Echos, Finance durable : ce que l'Europe entend par « vert », Valdis Dombrovskis

In an article for Les Echos, EU Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue justifies establishment of universal vocabulary for green investment.

Notre stratégie en matière de finance durable consiste à mettre en place une norme européenne en matière d'obligations vertes, à accroître la transparence pour les entreprises en matière de communication d'informations liées au climat et à étendre l'utilisation du label écologique de l'UE aux produits financiers. Nous devons avancer rapidement.


The AssetWhy the EU's ESG taxonomy matters to Asian asset managers and investors, Bayani S Cruz

Author says that Asian and US asset managers and owners seeking European investors will want to comply with EU ESG taxonomy.

When it is implemented in 2020, the European Union’s (EU) taxonomy on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) will be the first time 28 countries belonging to a common area will have clear and defined rules on ESG investing and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. This is likely to put pressure on Asia and the US to do the same otherwise their asset managers and asset owners may be marginalized.


Marfrig bond:


Global Capital, Marfrig sticks its neck out with transition bond

A firm differentiation between a green bond and “second tier” of the market that is now being opened up: the transition bond - is important. Marfig’s controversial bond issue exemplifies that.

Sean Kidney, chief executive of the Climate Bonds Initiative, the NGO, said the CBI would consider the deal carefully and not rush to judgement. “Marfrig have done a good job of being transparent and saying what they will do,” he said. “They have met the Green Bond Principles. They are looking at a number of things that are important — that there is a link between funding cattle farming and avoiding deforestation, which is really crucial.”


Global Capital, Marfrig’s transition bond: how fast is fast enough?, Jon Hay

Jon Hay advocates for keeping the green bond sphere "pure” and opening the “transition bonds” label for companies that are moving towards greener world - but just not fast enough.

The green bond market could remain tight, while a wider range of issuers used transition bonds. Sceptics spy a cover for companies moving from brown to light brown - insufficient, considering the urgency of climate change.


Global Capital, Brazil bonds make green investors look ridiculous, Jasper Cox

Marfrig’s transition bond stirred a lot of discussion and polarised opinions among Global Capital editors.

To make a real differece, green finance needs to prove it’s tough on dirty companies. How can the sector look at the fires ravaging the Amazon region and still take comfort in having embraced a bond issued to finance cattle purchases there?


Other market news:


Bloomberg, Power-Hungry Phone Companies Dial Into Surging Green Bond Market, Thomas Seal

As the communications industry accounts for about 10% of global electricity demand and grows, more carriers show appetite for green bond issuance.

Orange and BT Group are paying attention -- they have inserted clauses into their Eurobond prospectuses which would let them issue green bonds in the near future. And Deutsche Telekom AG is monitoring the surging market closely, said a spokesman.


La Presse, L'Hydroélectricité, assez propre pour les obligations vertes?, Mathieu Perreault

While hydropower remains a controversial area for green finance, the EU Green Bond Standard cleared it for green bond issuance. Sean Kidney talking to La Presse explains why.

« Les normes qui ont été publiées en juin clarifient les critères pour l’hydroélectricité », explique Sean Kidney, PDG de Climate Bonds Initiative, ONG de Londres. « Certains réservoirs émettent du méthane, un gaz à effet de serre, à cause de la putréfaction des arbres des territoires inondés, mais c’est surtout sous les tropiques. De toute façon, pour les centrales au fil de l’eau, il n’y a pas de problème. Il y a aussi une exigence d’évaluation des déplacements de populations, surtout autochtones, et de l’impact sur les écosystèmes inondés et le cours d’eau où se trouve le barrage.»


Investor Daily, Is your green bond truly green?, Joshua Kendall

Insight Investment analyst warns that proceeds from some green bond issuances are used to finance projects that don’t contribute to carbon reduction. In this context, he argues, EU’s green bond standard is a critical development for market credibility.

The gold standard for green issuance is a bond that also contributes to a wide, long-term sustainability strategy. We are still a long way from this, which is why recent developments — such as the European Commission’s green bonds standard and the UK’s green finance strategy — are critical for the development and credibility of the market by raising the standards for green bond issuance. They will bring transparency and clarity and lead to further growth.


Les Echo, Climat : pourquoi les banques françaises se mettent au vert, Étienne Goetz

Journalist says that French banks venture into green bonds because of convictions, commercial opportunity and in anticipation of stronger environmental regulations.

Enfin, la raison de cet engouement pour la finance verte est réglementaire. « Nous pensons que la réglementation environnementale va se renforcer, et nous voulons l'anticiper », indique Louis Douady, directeur RSE.


l’Opinion, Green Bonds: l’instrument obligataire peut engendrer une révolution de nos méthodes d’investissement, Camille Chevalier et Florent de Place

« Loin des prévisions collapsologues, le Green Bond porte un nouvel espoir. Il encourage nos entreprises à financer des projets verts, à lancer des innovations qui seront autant de réponses au dérèglement climatique »


Gulf Today, Green bonds hold the key to fighting climate change, Meena Janardhan

Journalist provides an exact explanation of how a green bond works and uses data from Climate Bonds Initiative’s State of the Market 2018 report.

Green bond developments across the globe reflect an increasing trend. According to a new report released by the CBI, the US ranked first with $34 billion issued, followed by China with US $31 billion and France with $14 billion. Germany ranked as the fourth largest country in terms of green bond issuance in 2018, with 60% of the proceeds going for renewable energy projects.  


The Fifth Estate, Green bonds are on the rise – but are they as green as they seem?, David Thorpe

Author recommends the property companies interested in issuing a green bond to consider Climate Bonds Standard certification.

Where the CBI oversees a green bond deal, they put a value on the environmental benefits. For example, for the Connecticut Green Bank solar offering, they said it represented a greenhouse gas reduction intensity of 19.4 tCO2e per AU$1480 invested and was fully compliant with the Climate Bonds Standard.






Financial Times, Capitalism’s watershed moment, Gillian Tett, Billy Nauman and Patrick Temple-West

FT’s Moral Money looks at the findings of our H1 Green Bonds Market summary and focuses on Chinese green bond landscape that saw a 62 per cent surge in the first half of this year.

The money will support some exciting projects such as floating solar farms in China. However, there is cause for concern. CBI pointed out that only half of green bonds from Chinese issuers met the international definition of “green”.


Reuters, China provides $1 billion in 'green' finance to coal projects in first half of the year, David Stanway

Alarming data from China.

Last year, more than a quarter of the green bonds issued in China failed to meet international criteria, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a non-profit group that promotes global green bond standards.




Climate Bonds in collaboration with China Central Depository & Clearing Co. released a report summarising Chinese market developments in the first half of 2019. Media reports below.


Xinhua, 2019年中国绿色债券市场半年度分析简报



Xinhua, China's green bond issuance expands fast

The country issued green bonds worth 143.9 billion yuan (about 21.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the Jan.-June period, rising 62 percent year on year, according to the semiannual report on China's green bond market released by the China Central Depository & Clearing Co.


Xinhua Espaniol, Emisión de bonos verdes de China se expande con rapidez


French, Chine : expansion rapide de l'émission d'obligations vertes, 干货!中国绿色债2019上半年报告发布:发行额同比增62%

据报告显示,2019年上半年,85%的来自中国发行人的绿色债券在境内市场发行。具体来说,上半年发行总规模的48%在中国银行间债券市场发行,其次是在上海证券交易所发行,规模为478.8亿人民币(71.2亿美元)占33%,其余4%在深圳证券交易所发行。, 中国绿色债券市场2019上半年报》发布 什么是绿色债券?

 近期,中央结算公司发布《中国绿色债券市场2019上半年报》(以下简称《报告》)指出,2019年上半年,我国和全球绿色债券市场发展较快,我国共计发行了1439亿元的绿色债券,实现62%的同比增长。, 2019年中国绿色债券市场半年度分析简报

但与此同时,我国绿色债券市场在存量和增量发展方面仍有较大空间,在完善绿色债券标准、政策激励,夯实绿色债券市场基础设施,促进跨境绿色资本流动等领域具备较大的发展潜力。, 中国绿色债券市场2019上半年报

2019 年上半年,中国和全球绿色债券市场发展较快。全球范围内,符合国际定义的绿色债券发行总额在上半年达到了 1178亿美元 。这一数字比去年同期增长了 48%。, 上半年我国发行超过200亿美元绿色债券



Finance Sina, 中国绿色债券市场2019上半年报


Wenku Baidu, 2019年上半年国内绿色债券市场运行报告




The Hindu Business Line, Experts urge Centre to go in for a sovereign green bond issue, M Ramesh

CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative urges the Indian government to issue a sovereign green bond and argues such issue would make an “splash” in the world markets.


The Hindu Business Line, Why aren’t Indian companies warming to green bonds?, M Ramesh

Issuing a sovereign green bond could help in lowering cost of capital for renewable energy developers in India who are haunted by problems with state-owned discoms.

This suggestion has come from Sean Kidney, the CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative (…) A sovereign bond issue from a country like India, which has a clean track record of honouring international debt, adequate foreign exchange reserves and low international debt-to-GDP ratio (but relatively high fiscal deficit) can get a good price from bond investors and can pass on the benefit to the developers.


Live Mint, The urgent case for green finance, Shrija Agrawal

To meet climate change targets India needs around three times the total investment in infrastructure made in the past 10 years. Author says green finance is “the need of the moment” and considers ways to kick off a strong green finance ecosystem in the country.

Reducing incidental expenses for green bonds will encourage clean tech firms to leverage markets. Fiscal and tax incentives for clean tech will be an added advantage. The restriction on long-term sources of capital (like on pension and insurance funds) have to be relaxed for green financing.




Business News Western Australia, Green is good - why corporates are using green finance, Jody Nunn

How green bonds play within the corporate and government reputational sphere. Credibility and authenticity when it comes to use of proceeds are emphasised in author’s analysis. She uses example of the Woolworths’ green bond certified under the Climate Bond Standard and describes it as a “gold standard”

“For a company to issue a green bond and successfully navigate the certification process that usually accompanies this, they need to have a genuine commitment that the proceeds of issue have a green impact. A company that fails to demonstrate this commitment will quickly lose the confidence of investors.” [says Louise McCoach, Special Counsel in Gilbert + Tobin’s Banking and Infrastructure group]




At the end of summer Climate Bonds unveiled two Australian-market focused reports: Green Infrastructure Investment Opportunities Australia 2019  and  Green Finance State of the Market Australia 2019. Read more here and see media reports below.


International Financing Review, Australian Green bond market set for further expansion

Australia has retained its position as the third largest issuer of Green bonds in the Asia Pacific region and has plenty of scope to expand supply, according to two locally focused reports released today from the Climate Bonds Initiative.


Money Management, New report backs green infrastructure investment through 2020s, Oksana Patron

The GIIO report supported new long-term partnerships between banks, superannuation funds, corporations and governments to help address rising emissions, urban congestion and sustainability pressures and called for expanded green finance mechanisms and cooperation between the public and private sector.


Energy Live News, Australia ‘must take full advantage of green finance opportunities’, Jonny Bairstow

A new report suggests Australia has the capability and capital to “launch a wave of green infrastructure investment” through the next decade.




Green bond traffic continues in the German media following the announcement of planned sovereign issuance.


Handelsblatt, Bund prüft Ausgabe grüner Anleihen, Jan Hildebrand

Dann würde man alle grünen Ausgaben zusammenrechnen, etwa für die energetische Gebäudesanierung, die E-Auto-Kaufprämie oder den öffentlichen Nahverkehr. Heraus kommt dann eine Summe von beispielsweise 15 Milliarden Euro, und in diesem Umfang dürfte der Bund in dem entsprechenden Jahr grüne Anleihen herausgeben.


Deutschlandfunk, Deutschland prüft Schuldtitel für nachhaltige Projekte, Volker Finthammer

Viele Anleger wollen heute ihr Geld in den Schutz der Umwelt investieren. Die Finanzagentur des Bundes prüft deshalb die Ausgabe von „grünen“ Bundesanleihen, etwa zur Finanzierung von Elektromobilität, Wärmedämmung oder öffentlicher Verkehrsmittel.


Reuters, Exclusive: Germany eyes fiscal U-turn with new debt to finance climate plan, Michael Nienaber

The finance ministry is now toying with the idea of allowing the government’s energy and climate fund to issue new debt in line with the debt brake rules, the official said. The new debt instrument could be issued and marketed as “green bonds”.


Reuters, Germany could soon bury its 'black zero' budget rule

 A senior government official told Reuters this month that the finance ministry is toying with the idea of issuing new debt in the form of “green bonds” which could help finance a costly climate protection package.


More EU taxonomy & Green Bond Standard coverage


Business Green, Sustainable funds attract record levels of investment, Madeleine Cuff


The EU is working on a taxonomy to define "sustainable" investments, which aims to offer investors and companies a classification system to identify (…)


Business Green, Moody's: Green bond issuance to surge past $200bn in 2019


The EU Green Bond Standard, which incorporates the sustainable finance taxonomy, would represent an important step forward in standardising (…)


Euractiv, Human rights and green finance: friends or foes?, Eleni Choidas, Lis Cunha and Rachel Owens


EU Member States in the Council are currently discussing the Taxonomy proposal, once called the “trunk” of the Action Plan by European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.


Global Capital, Transparency drive pushes SRI bond market to new frontiers

However, there were also warnings about the Taxonomy, in particular that it should be flexible and inclusive enough to encourage a broad range of projects.


Mondaq, European Union: The Proposed EU Green Bond Standard – a Sign of Things to Come?

Thus, even credit institutions or issuers who wish to offer or even market green financial products in the EU cannot ignore the EU-GBS completely, as they may still have to at least apply the Taxonomy Regulation criteria, if not, also the other requirements of the EU-GBS.


Better Society Network, Green bond issuance hits record high this quarter

In June, a Technical Expert Group (…) published a report proposing that the Commission create a voluntary, non-legislative EU Green Bond Standard to enhance effectiveness, transparency, comparability and credibility of the green bond market (…)


The Insider Stories, Global Green Bond Issuance Sets Quarterly Record

Continued green bond market growth would be supported by the European Commission’ proposed taxonomy for environmentally sustainable economic activities and a report on a proposed EU Green Bond Standard, says Moody’s.


Eco Reporter, Markt für grüne Anleihen wächst weiter

Die Bonitätsprüfer von Moody's setzen große Hoffnungen in einen einheitlichen, europaweit geltenden Kriterienkatalog für grüne Finanzen, auch als Taxonomie bekannt.


Eco Diaro, La desaceleración no puede ser la excusa para retrasar una economía más verde

Un hito clave para el desarrollo del mercado de bonos verdes es la taxonomía publicada en junio pasado por la Comisión Europea, una herramienta que define qué actividades económicas son sostenibles y ayuda a cuantificar su impacto.


Regulation Tomorrow, New ESG insight video: Commission’s taxonomy proposal


ESG Insider: S&P Global, New EU taxonomy helps investors, companies identify green investments


More Moody’s market update coverage:


The Asset, Expanding the green bond universe, Darryl Yu

While on an upward trajectory, the green bond market still has more room to grow as it currently represents just around 3% of the overall fixed-income market, according to Moody’s Investors Service data.


Noticias Bancarias, Las emisiones de bonos verdes baten un récord global

Según un análisis de Moody’s, las emisiones de bonos verdes crecieron un 47% interanual en el primer semestre del año, hasta los 117.000 millones de dólares, en un contexto en que la emisión total del mercado de bonos disminuyó un 1,9%.


Europa Press, Las emisiones de bonos verdes baten su récord global con un crecimiento del 47% hasta julio

De esta forma, la emisión de bonos verdes han batido su récord a nivel global hasta julio y los expertos de inversión de la agencia de calificación pronostican que la emisión total supere los 200.000 millones de dólares a final de 2019.


Energy Infra Post, Green Bonds Issuance To Cross A Record $200 Billion This Year: Moody’s


India Economic Times, Green bonds issuance to cross a record $200 billion this year: Moody’s


Saun Energy, Green Bonds Issuance to Cross Record $ 200 bn Mark in 2019: Moody’s







Der Treasurer, EnBW platziert grüne Hybridanleihen, Antonia Kögler

Wie bei der ersten Green-Bond-Emission des Unternehmens im Oktober 2018 wurden die Papiere nach dem Standard der Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) zertifiziert. Zudem hat auch diesmal wieder die Nachhaltigkeitsagentur ISS-Oekom die Bonds bewertet.


Energate Messenger, EnBW: grüne hybridanleihe soll erneuerbare finanzieren,  Philip Akoto

1 Mrd. Euro umfasst das Volumen der beiden ersten "grünen" Hybridanleihen, die der Karlsruher Versorger in seiner Unternehmensgeschichte begeben hat.


Renewables Now, EnBW raises EUR 1bn from green hybrid bonds

Rating agency ISS-oekom has confirmed that the new bonds comply with the Green Bond Principles. Also, they are certified to the high standards of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), EnBW said.


Offshore Wind, EnBW Issues EUR 1 Billion Green Hybrid Bond

The proceeds from the green bonds are to be used exclusively to fund climate-friendly projects.


Saur Energy, EnBW Launches Green Bonds Worth €1 bn to Fund Clean Energy Projects, Ayush Verma, EnBW issues €1bn green hybrid bonds


Australian Lawyer, German energy company issues €1bn worth of green bonds with help from global firm, Duffie Osental




Börsen-Zeitung, Porsche sammelt 1 Mrd. Euro mit größtem grünen Schuldschein ein, Kai Johannsen

Porsche hat das bislang größte grüne Schuldscheindarlehen (SSD) an den Markt gebracht und damit einen Meilenstein im stark boomenden Kapitalmarktsegment Green Finance gesetzt.


Global Capital, Porche sells largest green Schuldschein ever, Silas Brown

The final size is rumoured to be €1bn, with an order book far exceeding that.


Global Capital, Porsche offers green Schuldschein for EVs, Silas Brown

Porche’s deal is a green transaction. A translation of a section in the term sheet states: “This Schuldschein will be used to finance suitable green projects such as research and development in the field of electro mobility and the production of battery-powered vehicles.”


Global Capital, Green deals will have the greatest impact on the Schuldschein market this year, SIlas Brown

“A huge number of investors in their due diligence on the Porsche transaction will have learned more about green bond concept,” said the second arranger. “This is only good for further issuance”.


Nordsip, The fastest green bond yet?, Filipe Wallin Albuquerque

The Climate Bonds Standard Board certified the bond on behalf of the Climate Bonds Initiative under the “Clean Transportation” category.


Elektronik Automotive, Grünes Schuldscheindarlehen in Höhe von einer Milliarde Euro, Stefanie Eckardt

Die Nachhaltigkeit des grünen Projektportfolios sowie dessen Eignung für eine grüne Finanzierung im Rahmen des aktuellen Schuldscheins hat das Unternehmen externen Prüfungen unterzogen wie die Climate Bonds Initiative.


Merca2, Porsche emite un bono verde de 1.000 M€ para financiar el Tayca

Porsche AG ha emitido el bono verde más grande hasta la fecha con un volumen de mil millones de euros que se utilizarán exclusivamente para financiar el proyecto del modelo eléctrico Taycan.


Auto Futures, Porsche has placed a green Schuldschein of one billion euros




Australian Financial Review, QIC raises green bond for shopping malls, Nick Lenaghan

Funds management giant QIC's real estate arm has issued a $300 million green bond for its unlisted local malls fund, certified by the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative and said to be a world-first for retail property.


PV Magazine, QIC raises green bond to upgrade shopping malls, Marija Maisch

Institutional fund manager QIC’s real estate arm has issued a $300 million green bond certified by the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative with the goal to enhance environmental performance across its Australian retail portfolio.


IPE Real Assets, QIC launches green bond to upgrade shopping centres, Florence Chong

It has been described as the world’s first Climate Bonds-certified issued by a retail property owner.


Mirage News, Allens advises QIC Shopping Centre Fund on green bond

The issuance was certified as a green bond by the Climate Bonds Initiative, with the proceeds to be directed towards sustainability-focused projects within QSCF’s portfolio.


Read more in our blog




Reuters, Kenya approves issuance of first green bond, Duncan Miriri

Kenya has approved its first ever issuance of a green bond, which will raise 5 billion shillings ($48.45 million) for student accommodation, the capital markets regulator CMA said on Thursday.


Xinhua, Kenya approves issuance of first green bond

According to the issuer's information memorandum, the fixed-rate bond is certified as a green bond by the Climate Bonds Initiative.


The Star, CMA approves Kenya’s first Green Bond for construction of hostels

The capital markets regulator said, being a restricted public offer, the Issuer will raise the funds from only targeted sophisticated investors.


WeeTracker, Kenya Approves First-Ever Green Bond, What It Means For The Country

Continuance approval of green bonds in Kenya will attract international and local investors keen on averting climate change and will provide an opportunity to market Kenya as a leading investment destination.


Capital Business, CMA approves Kenya’s first Sh5bn unlisted Green bond

According to Climate Bonds Initiative, the climate-aligned global bond market stands at USD696 billion (Sh70.6 trillion) with green bonds making up 17 percent or USD118 billion (Sh11.9 trillion).


African Markets, Capital Markets Authority approves Kenya's First Green Bond


Standard Digital, Regulator approves Kenya’s first green bond


The Star, Capital Markets Authority approves Kenya’s first Green Bond


Hapa Kenya, Kenya’s first green bond gets CMA approval


Renewables Now, Kenya greenlights placement of 1st green bond