Green growth is a corporate priority of the Bank that it achieves through the financing of eligible climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. AfDB Green Bonds – rated Aaa/AAA/AAA – help the Bank reach that goal.
Proceeds raised through the sale of AfDB Green Bonds are allocated to a sub-portfolio within the Treasury’s liquidity portfolio until they are disbursed to eligible green projects. To date, outstanding AfDB Green Bonds (including green-themed uridashi bonds sold to Japanese investors) amount to US$ 993 million against a total eligible project pipeline of US$ 1.6 billion.
Examples of eligible mitigation and adaptation projects include: renewable energy generation; energy efficiency; vehicle energy efficiency, fleet retrofit or urban transport modal change; biosphere conservation; solid waste management; fugitive emissions and carbon capture; urban development; water supply and access; and low carbon transport.
For the Bank’s Green Bond portfolio, a specific set of guidelines have been set up and outlined in the Bank’s Green Bond Framework. Projects must meet the following criteria:
- Be eligible for financing under the African Development Bank only (projects eligible for financing under the African Development Fund and Nigerian Trust Fund will be excluded);
- Have financing by the Bank that can be qualified in full as promoting either low-carbon or climate-resilient development (projects whose financing by the Bank can be qualified only partially as promoting either low-carbon or climate resilient development will be excluded);
- Lead to significant accumulated greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the lifetime of the asset.
As of June 2014, 13 projects in seven countries were eligible for financing under the Green Bond program.
The Xina Solar One Project (US$ 100 million) in South Africa was deemed eligible under the Green Bond framework.
In June 2014, the AfDB agreed to adhere to the Green Bond Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines that recommend transparency and disclosure. The principals also promote integrity in the development of the green bond market by clarifying the approach for issuing bonds. A group of global financial institutions launched the Green Bond Principles, and issuers, investors and environmental groups provided guidance for developing them.
As part of its commitment to regularly document the use of proceeds in accordance with the principles and with the Bank’s Green Bond Framework, in May, the AfDB Treasury Department published the first Green Bonds Newsletter for investors.