Climate Bonds Initiative hires four ahead of new Standards launch and prospective China/India growth

First Indian corporate green bond raises $90m.

The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), which promotes green bonds and related environmental standards, has beefed up its staff with several senior hires ahead of an imminent revision of its standards and signs of potential significant growth in markets such as China and India.
The first Indian corporate green bond was issued yesterday when CLP Wind Farms raised 6 billion rupees ($90.3m) in the market, following two previous green bonds issued by YES Bank.
And at a green bonds event in Brussels yesterday (September 15) held by Eurosif, attendees heard that the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the country’s central bank, was examining definitions of green bonds and incentive mechanisms such as credit enhancements and tax breaks, that could be a massive boost to climate bond issuance if pursued.
The CBI, which is a registered UK charity, has hired four new staff recently as it grows its partnership structure whereby bond issuers and investors pay an annual membership fee of £5,500 for advice, outreach and data.
Manuel Adamini, former Head of ESG-research at ACTIAM (formerly SNS Asset Management) has joined CBI as Director of Advisory and Research Services. The CBI already provides data to index providers including S&P Dow Jones and MSCI/Barclays for related environmental indices.
Working with Adamini is another new joiner, Darius Nassiry, who focuses on research and advisory work with governments, multilateral development banks and international organizations to develop policy actions to advance climate bond investment. Nassiry previously served as advisor to the Director General and head of international cooperation at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Prior to that he was an investment manager with the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, specialising in environmental finance.They are joined in Advisory and Research Services by Rob Fowler who has been working on ‘Version 2.0’ of the Climate Bond Standards, which is scheduled to be launched in a few weeks time. The CBI says Fowler, previously a strategic consultant for companies including LEK Consulting and Booz & Company, will work with issuers, verifiers, intermediaries and regulators on take-up of the Climate Bonds Certification Scheme and the issuance of certified climate bonds.
Andrew Whiley, Head of Communications at PIRC, the corporate governance advisor, is also soon to join the CBI.
The new hires will take the full-time personnel at the CBI to 10 alongside a number of independent advisors.
Adamini told RI that the revision of the CBI standards will use as a baseline whether the green impact of any bonds contributes to maintaining CO2 levels below the internationally recognised two degrees warming level. The organisation has been working on a set of environmental quality guidelines for green sub-sectors like solar, wind and bio-fuel.
The CBI has an independent standards board that comprises institutional investors including CalSTRS, the Californian pension fund, as well as organisations such as CDP and the National Resources Defense Council in the US. Climate bonds that meet the CBI standard will automatically qualify under the Green Bond Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines put together by a group of investment banks and overseen by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).
Ulrik Ross, Global Head of Public Sector & Sustainable Financing at HSBC said that with the Renminbi being the third largest bond market in the world, the PBC’s work could be a game changer for green bond issuance. He said the Indian Chamber of Commerce was also looking closely at incentives for green bond promotion.