In order to inform its work on the action plan: financing sustainable growth published in March 2018, the European Commission established a Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance in July 2018. In action 2 of this action plan the Commission has requested the TEG to prepare a report on an EU green bond standard (EU GBS), building on current best practices. The action plan requests the TEG to publish this report based on a broad consultation of all relevant stakeholders.
The group invited feedback until 7 April 2019 on their preliminary recommendations for an EU GB, and their interim report outlining the status of the work conducted so far. This interim report proposes the content of an EU GBS, explains its purpose and sets its ambition level. It also explains how the TEG believes the creation of the proposed EU GBS will address the barriers hindering the green bond market’s further development and will support its role in channeling substantial financial flows to green projects.
In addition, the interim report elaborates on possible incentives, 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.
The TEG would like to stress that the recommendations outlined in its interim report are published with a view to gathering feedback. The final recommendations from the TEG will be presented in its report to the Commission in June 2019. The Group would also like to underline that the EU GBS is proposed as a voluntary standard building on existing market practices and designed to be compatible with them.
The call for feedback is now closed. We received 104 replies from a balanced and very relevant group of stakeholders (many of which represent a large group of members). Responses came from 22 countries.
28% of responses came from issuers, 18% came from investors, 15% from verifiers, and 39% from others including NGOs, market infrastructure providers, regulators, etc.
A strong majority (over 80%) of the respondents support creating a voluntary EU GB standard. Answers to the detailed questionnaire are overall supportive to our work. We received over 600 open comments that add more aspects and colour to the answers.
The feedback is very useful input and we will study it carefully during the coming weeks and take it into account for our next report. It seems that market participants would appreciate some examples to better understand the practical aspects of the recommendations.
We would also like to thank all parties that have given us input through the call for feedback and in targeted outreach sessions. We will continue to engage with stakeholders where further dialogue is needed.