28 March 2018
France issued a record-breaking €7 billion ($8.65 billion) green bond in January 2017, which has been tapped twice since, bringing the outstanding size to €9.7 billion.
Poland beat it to the title of first sovereign green bond issuer, with a €750 million issue, but France was easily the largest.
As the biggest sovereign green bond, it bagged the Green bond of the year – sovereign award.
The inaugural Green Obligations Assimilables du Trésor (OAT) have a 1.75% coupon and are due on 25 June 2039. Besides being the largest green Euro benchmark bond issue, it is also the longest dated.
One judge said that France's sovereign green bond "breaks new ground in impact reporting, and sets the precedence and template for large sovereign issuance".
The judge went on to explain that France's approach to reporting is one "unique aspect of its framework".
France will provide three levels of reporting, including on the allocation of bond proceeds, outputs of eligible green expenditures, and ex-post reporting on environmental impacts of eligible green expenditures.
"This is the most comprehensive reporting approach we have seen from any green bond issuer thus far," the judge noted.
France has also established a Green OAT Evaluation Council, comprised of seven independent experts and two observers, responsible for assessing the ex-post reporting on environmental impacts.
The framework is oriented toward four national objectives – climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection, air, soil and water pollution reduction and climate change adaptation.
Belgium, Indonesia, Fiji and Nigeria have since pushed forward with their own green bond issues, with more countries expected to do the same.