Financing France’s climate transition

France issues €7bn green bond to scale up climate action.


By becoming a pioneer of sovereign green bond issuance in 2017, France confirmed its role as a driving force for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

France’s green bonds (Green OAT) fund expenditure by the government and by the ‘Invest for the Future’ programme to combat and adapt to climate change, protect biodiversity and fight pollution.

France’s new green bond bears witness to the country’s leadership in the necessary acceleration of the energy transition

The eligible green expenditure that the state’s 2021 green bond issuance finances will amount to €15 billion, close to double that in 2019 – a sharp rise largely explained by state support for renewable energies. This acceleration is facilitated by the issuing of France’s second €7bn Green OAT which matures in June 2044. The order book was almost 5 times oversubscribed, and around €4bn of the €7bn issued have been allocated to green investors.

As a global leader in sustainable finance and #1 arranger of sustainable bonds worldwide, BNP Paribas was chosen by Agence France Trésor to be joint lead manager for this benchmark issue, which demonstrates the French State’s leadership in the energy transition.

Yann Gérardin, Head of BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking, said: “France’s new green bond bears witness to the country’s leadership in the necessary acceleration of the energy transition, and especially to the state’s support for renewable energies”.

The French government has been a leader in using sustainable finance for climate action, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, said: “France stands at the forefront in promoting the energy and ecological transition and supporting the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement. The government’s commitment to act on all the levers of the economy has led to the development of green finance, since 2017, giving to the Paris financial centre a leading role. The successful issuance of this second green sovereign bond, after the inaugural success in 2017, illustrates investors’ confidence in France’s creditworthiness and in the market standards it promotes for green bonds.”

More broadly, BNP Paribas has played a key role in supporting sovereign sustainable issuance, and was recently joint bookrunner for the Republic of Italy’s €8.5bn 24-year green BTP which progresses climate action in the year that the country co-chairs this year’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

In 2020, BNP Paribas’ teams were also awarded ‘Most Impressive SSA House in Euros‘ in the Global Capital Bond awards for their expertise in supporting sovereigns in their specific funding needs.