Clean Investor, September 6: Bank close to $300m green bond issuance

RI’s regular Tuesday round-up of clean investing news

An unspecified bank is close to issuing a new $300 million green bond denominated in Australian dollars. The bond will follow a green standard being established by the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). The Climate Bonds Certificate, which will enable investors to check whether green bonds support agreed CO2 reduction targets, is scheduled to made public shortly. The forthcoming bond is likely to be a refinancing of a group of wind-energy loans, according to the CBI. The Climate Bonds Advisory Panel, which is creating the new green bond standard, has also appointed four new members. They are: Imtiaz Ahmad , Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Bank, responsible for establishing the bank’s carbon trading and projects business; Jonathan C. Bianco, Managing Director, Catalyst Capital Investors; Henry Derwent, CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA); and Anthony Hobley, global head of climate change and carbon finance at Norton Rose.

Transparency International, the global civil society organisation, has highlighted the risks of corruption as funds flow into talking climate change. It has published a major 400-page study – Global Corruption Report: Climate Change – which draws on the expertise of more than 50 experts and practitioners from the anti-corruption movement and the climate change field. There is a special focus on the forestry sector.
Just 11 of 88 major US insurers have formal policies to deal with climate change risks, according a report – Climate Risk Disclosure by Insurers: Evaluating Insurer Responses to the NAIC Climate Disclosure Survey – from investor coalition Ceres. Ceres President Mindy Lubber said the report was both “illuminating and disillusioning” as few insurers were able to articulate a coherent plan to manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

The terms of the Asian Development Bank’s $115m Future Carbon Fund (FCF) have been changed to allow participants the right to abstain from buying emissions reduction credits from FCF projects. The so-called non-use opt out decision follows “considerable discussion” and comes amid “uncertainty about the scope and magnitude of the CDM [Clean Development Mechanism] beyond 2012”, according to ADB documents.

Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd., the London-listed timberland investment fund managed by FourWinds Capital Management, says it is now fully invested and moving into its “operational phase”. Net asset value rose by 4.5% to $621.6m at the end of the first half of 2011. It added that shareholders have indicated they want Phaunos to remain listed. Link

It’s best to allocate funds to the energy efficiency sector by investing in a broader environmental markets portfolio which also includes firms in the renewable energy, water infrastructure, pollution control, and waste management sectors, according to environmental asset manager Impax Asset Management. It has published a new white paper called “Improving Energy Efficiency, Enhancing Investment Returns”.Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil) has releases its August 2011 update of the Green Transition Scorecard, which tracks private sector investments since 2007 in green companies and technologies globally. It says that total investments have now reached more than $2.4 trillion.
Hazel Henderson, President of Ethical Markets Media, said: “This updated total is noteworthy, as it comes in spite of economic uncertainty.”

Jupiter Investment Management’s new Global Energy Fund will invest primarily in equity, equity-related and fixed interest securities of companies in the energy sector – including oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and nuclear power. Derek Pound will run the Fund size £21m fund. Link
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has argued that a single Green Climate Fund will not succeed in routing $100bn a year of funding from the developed to the developing world to fight climate change. The claim comes in a new white paper ‘Towards a Green Climate Finance Framework’. “We need a far more nuanced approach, one which works with the grain of the capital markets, not against it, and one which is designed from the start to reach the required scale,” said BNEF CEO Michael Liebreich.

An in-depth look at problems with Indonesia’s Rimba Raya forest preservation project has been published by news agency Reuters. It is “proof that saving the world’s tropical rainforests will be far more complicated than simply setting up a framework to allow market forces to function” it states.

The Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund voted against all director nominees at Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems’ annual shareholder meeting in March this year, it has emerged from a filing with the SEC. It also voted against the director slate at Enel Green Power, withheld all director votes at First Solar and FuelCell Energy, amongst a raft of other votes against management.

Investment in wind turbines is set to double by 2025, according to a new report – Global Wind Turbine Markets and Strategies: 2011-2025 – from IHS Emerging Energy Research. “2011 investment levels will fall below their historic 2008 high, but investment will increase from $30bn in 2010 to more than $68bn in 2025,” IHS said. This trend corresponds with worldwide installed wind capacity rising from 188GW to over 940GW, it added.

Vancity, the Vancouver-based mutually owned credit union with C$14.5bn in total assets, has renewed its carbon offsetting agreement with provider Offsetters. In 2008, Vancity announced it had become the first North American financial institution to become carbon neutral.