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Technical Expert Group Report: Proposal for an EU Green Bond Standard

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On 18 June 2019, the Technical Expert Group (TEG) published its Report on EU Green Bond Standard. The TEG proposes that the Commission creates a voluntary, non-legislative EU Green Bond Standard to enhance the effectiveness, transparency, comparability and credibility of the green bond market and to encourage the market participants to issue and invest in EU green bonds. The proposal builds on best market practices.

In June 2018, the European Commission set up a Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance (TEG) to assist in four key areas of the Action Plan through the development of the following:

  1. a unified classification system for sustainable economic activities,
  2. a European Union Green Bond Standard (EU-GBS),
  3. benchmarks for low-carbon investment strategies,
  4. a guidance to improve corporate disclosure of climate-related information.

The TEG began work in July 2018 and has a one-year mandate, which it carries out through formal plenaries and subgroup meetings for each work stream.

 

The TEG has 35 members from civil society, academia, business and the finance sector, as well as 10 additional members and observers from EU and international public bodies.

 

The TEG published its interim report on an EU Green Bond Standard on March 6, 2019 for public feedback. The interim report presented the draft EU-GBS, provided a rationale for action and explained how such a standard should be developed and implemented in Europe.

 

More than 100 organisations provided feedback on the interim report and the feedback on the report was generally positive. A large majority of the respondents supported the creation of a voluntary EU-GBS.

 

The TEG has carefully studied the detailed feedback received from participating stakeholders and has created an improved version of the EU-GBS. This report is now presented in an updated form.

 

Based on this, the report provides guidance to the European Commission on the proposed way forward for the EU-GBS, including the creation of a centralised accreditation scheme for external verifiers.

 

In addition, the report elaborates on possible incentives (Chapter 5), based on the EU-GBS, to enhance the growth of green bond issuance and the links with other sustainable financing instruments in a wider context (Chapter 6).

 

The EU-GBS should also feed into the work being launched in parallel by the European Commission on a potential EU Ecolabel for financial products.