Middle East’s First Green Bond Listed At London Stock Exchange

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The National Bank of Abu Dhabi recently became the first entity in the Middle East to have a green bond listed at the London Stock Exchange.

A green bond issue recently floated by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi raised $587 million at a 3% rate paid semi-annually for a period of five years. Proceeds from the bond issue will be used by the bank to fund projects of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The bank will selected target projects in accordance with its Green Bond Framework drafted in-line with the Green Bond Principles.

A second-party opinion for the green bond issue was given by Vigeo Eiris. The reviewer noted that “(the green bond is) aligned with the Green Bond Principles and Vigeo Eiris’ level of assurance on the sustainability of the bond is reasonable.”

Project categories eligible for funding include renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, waste management, clean transportation, water management, and climate change adaptation.

The bank has already selected three projects for funding. These are a 100 megawatt concentrated solar power project located in the United Arab Emirates, a construction project in the United States with LEED Silver certification, and a heavy rail network expected to offset more than 2.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, located in the United Arab Emirates.

Green bonds open up a new funding avenue for clean energy projects in the Middle East. The region is set for an expansion in renewable energy capacity, with several countries looking to implement large-scale solar power projects. With solar power tariffs already near record lows in the region, such additional funding options would encourage developers to further reduce the tariffs.

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