New principles have been produced to address the fast-growing market for green bonds, which support sustainability by raising funds for projects offering environmental benefits and which enjoy a tax-exempt status to attract investors.
The second edition of the
‘Green Bond Principles’
(GBP) was produced by a representative group of issuers, investors and intermediaries in the green bond market, supported by the London-based International Capital Market Association (ICMA). The new version of the GBP follows the original launch in January 2014, which provided guidance for issuers on the key components of a green bond.
The GBP are described as voluntary process guidelines that recommend transparency and disclosure to promote integrity in the development of the fast-growing market, by clarifying the approach for issuance of a green bond. The new edition follows a wide consultation of the members and observers of the GBP – a community of more than a 130 institutions active in the green bond market.
The 2015 provides further clarity on what can be expected from issuers. It includes a high-level definition of green bonds has been included and the refinancing of green projects has been addressed. Recognised broad categories of eligible projects have been updated and also complemented by four overarching areas of concern: climate change, natural resources depletion, biodiversity conservation and/or pollution.
ICMA reports that the green bond market grew substantially during 2014 with an estimated U$36.6bn of new issuance from borrowers including international and national development banks, as well as municipal and corporate issues. The market is expected to show further strong growth in 2015.
The GBP have achieved broad acceptance across the market with over 80 green bond issuers, underwriters and investors becoming members and in excess of 40 organisations becoming observers. A full list of observers and members is available from www.icmagroup.org/greenbonds.
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