A Green Bond issue has raised $150 million for Auckland Council. This is the second successful Green Bond issue by the council in little over 12 months. The initial issue in June last year was a first for any organisation in New Zealand.
“Our recent declaration of a climate emergency was public recognition of our concerns for our environment. Raising finance for greener outcomes shows we are serious about the changes we want to make,” says Finance and Performance Committee Chair Councillor Ross Clow.
“There is a growing appetite for green investment – according to Moody’s Investor Service, the Green Bond market is tipped to hit $200 billion (USD) this year – so it makes sense for us to use the opportunity to support our sustainable development targets and goals.
“This financing will help us fulfil the commitments we have made to improve our cycle ways and increase our provision of electric trains. A key sustainability issue is moving Aucklanders away from high-emission transport choices and freeing up our roads from congestion and we recognise that responsible investment and financing plays a key role in achieving our targets”.
What is a Green Bond?
Funds raised through green bonds can only be used to fund projects that will benefit the environment. Auckland Council’s Green Bond Framework has identified the eligible sectors for investment as follows:
- Renewable energy
- Energy efficiency
- Efficient buildings
- Waste management
- Sustainable land use
- Low-carbon transportation
- Climate change adaptation
- Sustainable water management
In addition, the green bond and resulting investment must obtain external assurance and proof of ongoing compliance.
Auckland Council’s green bonds issuance programme has also been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative as meeting the criteria set out in the Climate Bonds Standard.
- The issued Green Bond is a six year, with an interest rate of 2.013%, secured, unsubordinated, fixed rate bond
- Auckland Council has a S&P Global Ratings AA (Stable Outlook) and a Moody’s Aa2 (Stable Outlook) rating reaffirmed in September 2018 and April 2019, respectively
- The Green Bonds have been assigned a AA (S&P) and Aa2 (Moody’s) rating
- Auckland Council was awarded a Certificate of Recognition at the Climate Bonds Initiative 2019 Green Bond Pioneer Awards in London earlier this year. The certificate is awarded to issuers, regulators and service providers that have played a pivotal role in growing the Green Bond market in 2018.
- For its initial Green Bond offering in June 2018 Auckland Council received the KangaNews Award for the New Zealand Innovative Debt Deal of the year.