We should follow France and get on board with green bonds – Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP said today that the government should follow in the footsteps of Poland and France to issue sovereign green bonds and become the third country in the world to do so.
“Earlier this month France became the second country in the world after Poland to issue sovereign green bonds in a clear signal that their government is committed to diverting funds towards ecological or renewable projects.
“The green bond market is in early stages of development but there’s absolutely no doubt that it’s going to become a rapidly growing market in the coming years. The Paris Climate agreement means that all governments need to do their part to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
“Ireland is in a difficult situation, we are signed up to the Paris agreement but we are off our emissions targets. The time is ripe for the government to proactively engage in climate friendly initiatives like green bonds. We should get ahead of the curve and start to put our national weight behind green finance. It is going to become a major investment stream into the future.
“The issuance of green bonds will send a strong political signal to the markets and EU partners that environmental issues are becoming a national priority for Ireland. It will also help to finance renewable infrastructure projects such as wind farms and biomass projects.
“This isn’t just a big country initiative, Luxembourg has imminent plans to issue green bonds. Nigeria is also preparing its own sovereign green bond issuance.
“While Ireland has unique difficulties in meeting EU emission reduction targets, frankly I don’t believe we have pursued climate-friendly efforts seriously enough. Following the Paris agreement, we now have a clear global responsibility to do our part.
“There are two concrete initiatives we can pursue straightaway. Firstly, the Department of Finance in conjunction with the NTMA should ensure that we issue Ireland’s first green bonds before the end of 2017. Secondly, we should be able to put a clear date on the phase out of Moneypoint, Ireland’s only coal-fired power station, which is running at high capacity and provides about 21.5% of our electricity needs.”