Green bonds, greenwash, and risk: how to tame the new Wild West

Sep 23 15:09 2019 Print This Article

What makes a green bond green? A cynic might say the easy answer lies in the word “green”: take a bond, put the word “green” before the word “bond,” and congratulations—you have created a green bond. In reality, to sell it you have to explain why you prepended “green” to “bond.” Here you could refer to the International Capital Markets Association’s Green Bond Principles, which lay out voluntary disclosure guidelines for issuers.

According to the ICMA’s GBPs, a project eligible for financing with a green bond could include—but is not limited to—any of the following:

Renewable energy.

Energy efficiency.

Pollution prevention and control.

Environmentally sustainable management

of living natural resources and land use.

Terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity


Clean transportation.

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About Article Author

Canadian Energy Issues

Steve Aplin, author of Canadian Energy Issues, is the Vice President of Energy and Environment at the HDP Group Inc., an Ottawa-based management consultancy. He leads energy- and environment-related projects dealing with current and future energy production and use at the macro and micro levels. In addition to the technical, technological, and organizational aspects, all of these projects involve also a political dimension, which often necessitates advocacy at various levels of government as well as in the general public arena.

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