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aws账号( lawmakers push for stricter bond rules



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Coming clean: Cooling towers at the Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium. Proposed power amendments by the EU Commission aim to ensure green bonds do not fund electricity from nuclear power or gas. ― Bloomberg

LONDON: European Union (EU) legislators are looking to tighten the region’s planned green bond standards and make it harder for issuers of environmentally-friendly debt to overstate their promises to investors.

Sellers of European green bonds and sustainability-linked bonds should develop a transition plan indicating how they will adhere to a 1.5°C global warming scenario and reach climate neutrality by 2050, according to a parliamentary report.

These proposed amendments to the rulebook, put forward by the EU Commission this year, aim to ensure such bonds will not fund electricity from nuclear power or gas.

“I want to improve the credibility of the green bond standard,” said Paul Tang, a member of the parliament who drafted the report and is responsible for helping guide the legislation, in an interview.

“The company or country should be on the path to net zero, otherwise we have a form of greenwashing where a brown company all of a sudden issues a green bond.”

The amendments fall short of calling for the voluntary standard to become mandatory, but legislators want to see that phased in and for investors to be aware that it will become obligatory for sustainable bond issuance in the “near future.”

While this is the opening salvo in the parliament’s position, the negotiation process needs agreement from member states and may take a year or longer.

“The introduction of disclosure requirements for the entire sustainable bond market has the additional benefit to reduce the scope for greenwashing through such alternative sustainable bonds, including through sustainability-linked bonds,” lawmakers said in an explanatory note to the report.

“This will limit potential harms to investors in such bonds and increase the trustworthiness in the entire sustainable bond market.”

Sustainability-linked bonds, which involve meeting organisation-wide goals, have exploded in volume this year to help drive ethical sales to record levels.

However, they have come under fire for overly soft targets by some companies. The EU already started issuing green bonds this year, even before its standard was ready. That will require issuers to abide by an array of rules, including mandatory impact reporting and an external review by an accredited verifier.

The stricter terms put forward by parliament are the next step of the process following the commission’s initial proposal in July.

Member states in the European Council also need to come up with their position, before all sides agree on the final form. Tang hopes the proposed amendments will be finalised in the parliament by the spring.


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