A view of Berlin, Source: Moises Gonzalez / Unsplash

Berlin to issue sustainability bonds worth 750 million euros

Berlin to issue sustainability bonds worth 750 million euros

This move will open green and social public projects to wider investments

Last week, Berlin authorities announced the launch of sustainability bonds, linking the private investment market with the city’s social and green initiatives. The planned issue volume for the first round of bonds will be 750 million, with each bond costing 1,000 euros.

The city of Berlin is only the second German state to create sustainability bonds, after North Rhine-Westphalia. Finance Senator Daniel Wesener explained that for local authorities, it is not just about attracting more money, but about what gets financed.

According to a press statement, the bonds will be issued very soon, although no precise date has been mentioned yet. Additionally, the money will go towards financing sustainable projects in Berlin itself, with half going towards strictly social projects and half towards green projects.

Opening public projects to ESG investment

In 2017, local authorities in the German capital made the decision to open up the city’s pension reserve funds to sustainable stock investment. According to the city, the next step is to open local projects to the outside.

These are 36 projects launched in the budget years of 2020 and 2021, including the expansion of the electric bus system, free lunches in the city’s public schools and a mixed resilient forest programme. Notably, every project in the list abides by at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The city plans to issue bonds every two years, which will be open to private investors and individual investors because of the relatively low entry threshold of 1,000 euros per bond. The sustainability bonds were set up through a framework provided by the International Capital Market Association. The agency ISS ESG was selected to do an external assessment.

The market for sustainability bonds is growing  

In recent years, the market for sustainable bonds has seen massive growth. While in 2019, it had an issued volume of just 400 million dollars worldwide, in 2021 that number grew to 1.1 trillion.

Senator Daniel Wesener was quoted in a press statement, explaining that the city is now opening up its bonds to investors who attach particular importance to sustainability. He continued: “At the same time, we are creating added value for the city, because the bond gives a clear impetus to administration and politics to align their projects even more closely with ecological and social criteria.”



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