Our paper, “The Green+ Bond: How EU Sovereign and Corporate Issuers could deliver Green Sovereign Bonds with Social Co-Benefits”, co-authored with the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute, emphasises the strategic potential for a green sovereign bond with well-defined social and economic benefits to support the European Commission’s new Strategy for “financing the transition to a sustainable economy.”

Building on the record demand for the EU’s inaugural green bond, connecting green financing with positive social co-benefits would enlist the global capital markets to support urgent public and private green projects to achieve net-zero targets and provide economic stimulus while supporting a just and inclusive transition.

Our paper provides an overview of the EU’s new Strategy and the green and sustainable bond market, before outlining how the Green+ Bond could finance activities which make a substantial contribution to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation objectives under the EU Taxonomy Regulation while also fulfilling “do no significant harm” criteria and meeting minimum safeguards. It further explains how the Green+ Bond can generate jobs and social renewal, as well as the proven cost-effectiveness and investor diversification provided by green bonds.

In summary, a Green+ Bond would:

  • Support a Green Recovery, Capital Markets Union Action Plan and the Commission’s new Strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy by developing the green capital markets with an emphasis on a Just Transition.
  • Underpin a sustainable economic recovery by directing proceeds to the growing net-zero economy while at the same time creating high quality jobs and other social benefits. 
  • Provide investment to enhance productivity by upgrading infrastructure, supporting innovation and building skills. 
  • Respond to rising investor demand by providing a liquid instrument that can feature in every relevant portfolio.
  • Establish a global framework for Green+ Bond issuances that builds economic confidence on the road out of the COVID-19 crisis and to a Just Transition.
  • Support the EU’s development of a social taxonomy, particularly regarding its interaction with the existing Environmental Taxonomy.

Next steps:

We will continue our engagement with EU policymakers on the strategic potential for the Green+ Bond at the EU, member-state and corporate levels.

Background:

The Impact Investing Institute is the UK member of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG). We are a member of and act as Secretariat for the UK Treasury and Debt Management Office’s new Stakeholder Discussion Forum on green finance. This builds on the Green+ Gilt proposal which we published with the Green Finance Institute and the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute last year, which emphasised the potential of a UK green sovereign bond with well-defined social and economic benefits.