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Kristina Forsbacka, Gregor Vulturius
Journal article
Adaptation, Finance

A Legal Analysis of Terms and Conditions for Green Bonds

The global financial system needs to be aligned with the energy transition to a low-carbon future.

Green bonds, i.e. bonds specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects, issued by public and private issuers are important for funding climate and sustainable projects. However, although the green bond market has shown exponential growth in recent years, it still does not account for more than around 2% of global bond issuances in the last two years.

The purpose of this paper is to analyse and discuss if the Swedish, Finnish and Danish green bond markets (here the Nordic green bond market) could be made more effective by strengthening the legal contracts and if, and to what extent, legal regulation is required and desirable.

The research indicates that the introduction of “green” undertakings in the contracts would not make the green bond market more effective. Regulation should support unification and transparency, but needs to be flexible and non-exclusive, or it could hinder growth and innovation of the market, and increase the risk for greenwashing.