EIB incentivises bioeconomy investments

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued its first Sustainability Awareness Bond worth €500m to support investments into water projects - health and nutrition to follow.


The €500m (US ($580.80m) transaction represents the first EIB funding intended to directly support sustainable finance.

“We have selected the water sector as a starting point,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB. “We look forward to expanding the scope of the Sustainability Awareness Bonds in the coming months to cover health and education,” he added.

Procceds will be put towards water quality and infrastructure projects in countries as diverse as Burkina Faso and Germany.The EIB wants to ensure that the new bond will not cannibalise demand for other Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) bonds, such as its “climate awareness bonds” or green bonds of which it sells roughly €4bn annually.  “These are two types of bonds that we think can live together without killing each other,” said Bertrand de Mazierez, the EIB’s director general responsible for finance.

The United Nations estimates that US$6,000bn of annual investment is needed to successfully tackle its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity by 2030. The SRI bond market has started to evolve far beyond its “green” roots over the last 12 months.The World Bank, which issues US$50-60bn of bonds annually, has placed a series of sustainable development bonds to raise awareness of specific issues, most recently a 1 billion Swedish crown ($110 million) water and ocean bond.


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