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What makes a bond green? An analysis of green bond standards and the need for a harmonized framework for the development of the green bond market

  • The present thesis attempts to answer the question “What makes a bond green?” by analysing the current status of the green bond market with regards to its regulation and evaluating the need for harmonizing green bond standards. A green bond, which is characterized by allocating its proceeds exclusively to climate-related or environmental projects, is a relatively novel sustainable financing instrument that has recorded exponential growth since the first issuance in 2007. The green bond market has developed as a privately regulated market leading to a range of different green bond standards and other market mechanisms used for verifying green bonds, of which some have developed into best practice followed by most issuers. This fragmented regulation and the lack of a globally accepted green bond standard leads to the difficulty in clearly identifying what makes a bond green. By analysing the current best practice and comparing green bond standards this paper identifies the differences between existing standards and suggests the further harmonization of standards as an important prerequisite for the further growth of the green bond market. Consequently, the challenges related to the private nature of green bond regulation is reviewed, leading to the conclusion that the intervention of the government and establishment of public regulation for green bonds could be considered. With regards to the further expansion of the green bond market the EU Green Bond Standard that is currently under development by the European Commission is critically analysed.

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Author:Annalena Malzacher
Advisor:Rütger Conzelmann
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2020
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2020/03/25
Tag:Green bonds; Socially responsible investing; Sustainable finance
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Finance & Accounting
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt