ESG and Sustainability News

Welcome to VitalBriefing’s free Sustainability Highlights Monthly Briefing, covering key sustainability news and developments related to sustainable finance, ESG and investment opportunities in Europe and around the world. To receive the Briefing direct to your inbox every month, you can subscribe by clicking here.

Our media monitoring on all things Sustainability will help you identify the critical trends and major European and global developments in Legislation & Regulation, Sustainable Finance Trends and Investments & Products.

If you’d like a more in depth look at this space, you should know that this is just a selection of key stories from VitalBriefing’s Monthly Sustainable Finance News & Insights Briefing. Prepared by our top financial journalists, not only does it cover many more sources and articles, it also includes relevant market and sector analysis, and a complete listing of new sustainability-oriented funds with each edition.



Sustainability Highlights Monthly Briefing
October 2021


Legislation & Regulation
European Commission adopts green bond framework ahead of inaugural debt issue

The European Commission has adopted a framework under which it will launch its first green bond this month, subject to market conditions. The EU plans to issue up to €250bn in green bonds between now and the end of 2026, which will make it the world’s largest green bond issuer, according to budget and administration commissioner Johannes Hahn. The framework is consistent with the International Capital Market Association’s green bond principles and funds will be channelled to projects in nine broad categories, including energy efficiency, clean transportation and clean energy. Certain sectors including nuclear power are explicitly excluded.

Best source: L’Echo
(subscription required, in French)
See also: Renewables Now
Swiss regulator cracks down on suspected greenwashing in fund prospectuses

Swiss regulator Finma says it is scrutinising prospectuses of funds available in Switzerland regarding their descriptions of operations and strategies to integrate sustainability criteria. The regulator is looking to curb suspected greenwashing but sees a challenge in the lack of a legal definition, and says environmental, social impact and governance criteria are vague and vary from one asset manager to the next. Finma is relying on existing legislation designed to protect investors from fraud, and it will insist that misleading information be corrected.

Best source: Le Temps
(subscription required, in French)
Sustainable Finance Trends
Luxembourg Central Bank warns of climate risk to financial sector

The Luxembourg Central Bank has warned financial institutions not to be complacent about the risks posed to the industry by climate change. While the banking sector may seem to have limited exposure to the physical risks of global warming, with €227bn of their aggregate balance sheet of €863.4bn at the end of last year considered at risk, the central bank notes that climate-related events can be sudden and devastating. Luxembourg saw €718m in losses due to climatological events between 1980 and 2017, at €1,627 per capita, the third highest level in the EU after Denmark and Austria, although 59% of losses in the grand duchy were insured.

Best source: Paperjam
(in French)
Billions of dollars pledged to support green technology and conservation

Two funding commitments will channel billions of dollars into green technology development and the protection of vulnerable habitats and indigenous people. Leading US companies have pledged $1bn to Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to support capital-intensive clean energy projects, while nine philanthropic organisations, including the Bezos Earth Fund, have pledged $5bn to support conservation and biodiversity. The focus is on projects implemented by local communities and indigenous peoples.

Best source: Bloomberg
(subscription required)
See also: Innovators Magazine
See also: Mongabay
Investments & Products
China Merchants Bank lists dual-tranche bond on Luxembourg Green Exchange

China Merchants Bank has listed a dual-tranche bond totalling $600m, comprising a sustainability bond and a carbon neutrality-themed green bond, on the Luxembourg Green Exchange. The carbon neutral bond is the first of its kind to be issued by a Chinese bank on international capital markets, while the sustainability bond’s use of a secured overnight financial rate is a first for a Chinese bank in Europe. Finance minister Pierre Gramegna says the listing highlights Luxembourg’s position as an international hub for sustainable finance.

Best source: Paperjam
(in French)
See also: InFinance
Don’t Miss the Full Version of This Briefing…

This free briefing is a selection of key stories from VitalBriefing’s Monthly Sustainable Finance News & Insights Briefing, prepared by our top financial journalists and identifying the critical trends and major European and global developments in Legislation & Regulation, Sustainable Finance Trends and Investments & Products.