Stepping into the world of Sovereign Green Bonds

The first sovereign green bond from the Republic of France marks a milestone in the growth of the market. Why is it significant?

Earlier this year, the French government issued its first sovereign Green Bond, marking a significant step in the growth of the market. BNP Paribas was joint lead manager on the EUR7bn Green Bond, the proceeds of which will be used to finance expenditures identified as promoting the ecological and energy transition.
The bond’s maturity of 22 years makes it the largest and longest dated Green Bond issuance to date. The significance of this benchmark Green Bond was certainly reflected in the investor demand, as the deal was more than three times oversubscribed.
Stephanie Sfakianos, Head of Sustainable Capital Markets at BNP Paribas commented on the deal “There’s a lot more private finance in infrastructure now and this deal, which supports subsidies given by the government rather than funding direct public investment in these projects is a good template for the future.”
The significance of the French sovereign Green Bond is also highlighted in the reporting process, says Agnes Gourc, Sustainable Capital Markets BNP Paribas: “France has been very ambitious on the reporting front. It’s clear they are trying to improve the structuring of what already exists in the market, so sovereigns now have a very good benchmark to follow”.
This issuance is part of the growing trend in Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI), and over USD100bn in Green Bonds has been issued to date.