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EU Likely To Make Green Bond Standard Voluntary

The European Union considers making the upcoming EU Green Bond Standard not compulsory, but only voluntary for issuers of such bonds, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, quoting a draft EU document it had seen.

As part of the complementary packages in the European Green Deal, the EU wants to direct financial and capital flows to green investments. Under the Green Deal, the EU established an EU Green Bond Standard, among the key new initiatives for 2021.

“Green bonds play an increasingly important role in financing assets needed for the low-carbon transition. However, there is no uniform green bond standard within the EU,” the bloc says.

According to the draft document Bloomberg has seen, the EU Green Bond Standard will be ready to be used next year and would “set the global standard.”

“The proposed voluntary standard in conjunction with a light supervisory approach would ensure that the Union’s objectives are achieved in the most cost-efficient and effective way,” the document said.

Green bond issuance last year hit a record as the pandemic couldn’t stop the surge in investor appetite for anything related to renewable energy and environmental responsibility.

This year, this new market is set for even stronger growth as energy sustainability becomes the theme of the decade. Last year, total sustainable debt hit a record high of $732.1 billion, BloombergNEF reported earlier this month. This was up by 29 percent on the year despite the pandemic or maybe because of it: the pandemic proved an opportunity for some governments to reinforce and strengthen their commitments to their green agenda.

Apart from the EU Green Bond Standard, the EU is currently working on detailed proposals on how the bloc could achieve climate neutrality by 2050, including potential carbon pricing and emissions trading schemes for road transportation and aviation fuels.

Earlier this month, the 27 members of the European Union approved the regulation establishing the so-called Just Transition Fund to help fossil fuel-reliant economies in the bloc move to greener energy, clearing the final hurdle for the fund to launch.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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