European energy companies issue green finance pledge

European President Juncker said his bloc would take up the mantle after the Paris sidestep from the United States.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Dec. 11, 2017 at 6:48 AM
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Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Nine energy companies working in the European energy sector said Monday they made pledges to support a sustainable finance model for renewables.

"Together the signatories draw on their experience to call upon other industrial companies to consider issuing green bonds, which will further strengthen this market and enhance its interest from the growing share of climate-minded investors," the companies said in a joint statement.

European energy companies EDF, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Icade, Paprec, SNCF Réseau, SSE and TenneT said jointly they would make the pledge to develop what they said was the "most dynamic segments of sustainable finance today, the green bond market."

The first green bond was issued a decade ago and, since then, the companies said financing for renewables has accelerated in parallel to the awareness of the need to address climate change. To date, the nine companies have combined for $30.6 billion in green bonds, or more than 10 percent of all outstanding green bonds.

Judith Hartmann, the chief financial officer at French energy company ENGIE, said her company has issued $6.2 billion in green bonds over the last three years.

"By matching the company´s long‐term view and investors´ sustainability goals, ENGIE considers green bonds as a critical lever to shape tomorrow´s low carbon and socially responsible energy world," she said in a statement.

Commitments were made on Climate Finance Day and one day ahead of a green summit in Paris.

Last month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it's invested more than $4.5 billion directly on renewable energy, backing the development of 6.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in more than 20 countries. The bank said it's now "well on the way" to its commitment of sending 40 percent of its annual investments toward green finance by 2020.

European Union President Jean-Claude Junker this year said the bloc was setting its sights on becoming a global leader in renewable energy development as the United States signals its intention to leave the international Paris climate agreement

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