04 Dec 2014 10:02

Increased climate investments with green bonds

Interview with Bertrand de Mazières

“Our issuance of green bonds has really taken off during 2014. I am sure that there will be a large number of projects next year suitable for this form of financing,” says Bertrand de Mazières, Director General, Finance Directorate at the European Investment Bank. On Wednesday he participated in a seminar on green bonds at SEB.

The European Investment Bank, owned by EU's 28 member states, is a major lender to infrastructure, climate and environmental investments. In 2013 the EIB lent more than 1.5 billion euro to projects in Sweden, including the development of the red line in Stockholm´s underground, the tramway to Solna, and investments in Gothenburg´s public transport system.

According to the EIB guidelines, 25 percent of investments should be in areas promoting positive environmental development. Renewable electricity and energy efficiency are two prioritised areas.

The EIB has since 2007 published green bonds earmarked for climate-friendly investment projects and SEB has been a key partner since the start. Swedish investors have shown great interest and the Swedish krona is still the currency that accounts for the second largest volume of green bonds issued by the EIB.

So far, the EIB has issued green bonds worth 7.5 billion euro, of which 4.5 million have been issued this year.

”This gives an indication of the growth that we see,” says de Maziéres.

At Wednesday's seminar, besides the representatives of the EIB, also Christopher Flensburg, head of sustainable investments at SEB and Christina Hillesöy, from Länsförsäkringar Liv, attended. SEB was also represented by head of Corporate Sustainability Cecilia Widebäck West, and Portfolio Manager Marianne Gut. They discussed the market development and the importance of creating a quality-assured and transparent process to ensure that the green bonds really contribute to a positive climate

Among the guests were representatives of the Swedish authorities as well as institutional investors, such as pension funds, insurance companies, etc.