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Europe drives record Feb for sustainable bond flows

Greenwashing Foot SmallThe global sustainable bond market recorded its busiest February, off the back of a €10.9 billion green debt issuance from the European Investment Bank.

Analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence found the institution was the biggest issuer of green debt over the month.

In total, worldwide sales of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bonds totalled €83.1 billion.

Green bond sales accounted for €46.6 billion, down from €51.1 billion a month prior.

Global sales of sustainability bonds alone fell 19% to €22.09 billion in February, down from more than €26.5 billion in January.

Social and sustainability-link bond issuance also fell during the month, despite a €4 billion issuance from French agency Cades.

The analysis from Bloomberg Intelligence found approximately 25% of high-yield issuance in Europe is ESG-labelled.

It comes after the European Council reached a provisional agreement on green bond issuance requirements.

This regulation lays down requirements for issuers of bonds that wish to use the designation ‘European green bond’ or ‘EuGB’. Products must be aligned with the EU taxonomy and made available to investors globally.

It also establishes a registration system and supervisory framework for external reviewers of European green bonds.

Of the new standard, Swedish minister for finance Elisabeth Svantesson said: “Issuers will be able to demonstrate that they are funding legitimate green projects aligned with the EU taxonomy.

“And investors buying the bonds will be able to more easily assess, compare and trust that their investments are sustainable, thereby reducing the risks posed by greenwashing.”

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