SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Germany to issue first ‘green’ bonds to support climate action

The German government will next year issue its first so-called green bonds, borrowing on financial markets to fund projects that are positive for the environment as calls grow for climate action.

Germany to issue first 'green' bonds to support climate action
Photo: DPA

“In the second half of 2020, the German Federal Government intends to issue Green German Government securities for the first time,” Berlin's Finance Agency said in a statement Thursday.

The “twin” bonds will mirror normal debt issued by the German government, with “the same maturity and coupon” (annual interest payment), the agency said.

But proceeds from the green bonds “will completely be allocated to already existing expenditures with a positive ecological-sustainable effect,” it added.

The move comes as Germany has stepped up its ambitions for tackling climate change, while at the EU level negotiators this week struck a compromise deal on what spending exactly should be rubber-stamped as “green”.

Lawmakers in the German parliament are voting Thursday on a “climate package” that will include a higher price for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in transport and construction from 2021, earlier than originally planned by ministers.

The environmental legislation was assembled over the summer after months of public pressure including “Fridays for Future” demonstrations by school pupils.

In Brussels, negotiators this week agreed to put off for two years a decision on whether to label investments in nuclear power and natural gas as “green”, clearing the way for an official classification of climate-friendly investments.

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde has underlined the importance of the reform, with sustainable finance deals reaching one half a trillion dollars in 2018.

EU lawmakers have in recent years pressured the ECB to target its “quantitative easing” bond-buying scheme at green debt, but many policymakers say they have a duty not to distort bond markets.

READ ALSO: Higher fuel costs and Autobahn speed limits: How can Germany go green?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLITICS

IN PICTURES: Germany hosts G7 summit with Bavarian twist

G7 leaders are meeting in Bavaria to discuss important issues including Russia's war on Ukraine and the food crisis. The event is known for producing memorable pictures. Here's a look at the best images and tweets so far.

IN PICTURES: Germany hosts G7 summit with Bavarian twist

You’ll need to pause your ad blockers to see all the content on this story

The Group of Seven wealthy nations is holding their annual summit in the stunning surroundings of the Bavarian Alps. 

The world leaders are engaged in talks at the Schloss Elmau with a focus on Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change, energy, the global food crisis and rising inflation. 

The G7 gatherings are known known for producing some memorable photos and amusing moments, and this year is no exception. Here’s a look at the best so far. 

When the G7 summit started on Sunday, the southern state of Bavaria became the standout attraction. 

Leaders of the nations involved – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA – were given traditional Bavarian welcomes. 

Spearheaded by Bavarian premier Markus Söder, the leaders were greeted by people clad in Bavarian costumes, such as the dirndl. 

It sparked heated debates on how Germany is portrayed to the rest of the world.  

READ ALSO: Can Scholz create a Merkel-like buzz at the G7 in Bavaria?

Journalist Mathieu von Rohr said on Twitter: “It’s hard to imagine what Söder would have done to Germany’s image in the world as chancellor.”

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, walks past people wearing traditional Bavarian costumes after his arrival at Munich airport on June 26th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Karmann

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, walks past people wearing traditional Bavarian costume after his arrival at Munich airport on June 26th.

The left wing newspaper Taz on Monday led with a front page that included this headline: “Finally, indigenous peoples at the G7 summit”.

READ ALSO: Why Bavaria does politics differently to the rest of Germany

The photo of US President Joe Biden signing his name in the Bavarian guest book to Germany produced lots of good captions. 

Nathan Ma poked fun at Germany’s infamous overly complicated contracts that are hard to get out of.

Commentators in Germany have also been making their views known about the events at the summit. 

German broadcaster BR said in an opinion article that the opening G7 event was “like a Monty Python sketch”.

Writer Max Büch said: “Yes, it’s embarrassing that Joe Biden is being coerced by Markus Söder to sign the guestbook at the airport.”

He added: “But people in traditional costume are not embarrassing per se. Even if taz’s ‘indigenous peoples at the G7 summit’ is meant satirically, the title hits a very true core of the image that the rest of Germany still has of Bavaria.”

The southern German traditions continued with Schuhplattler, a traditional style of folk dance popular in the regions of Bavaria and Tyrol. 

“Bavaria makes up perhaps 10 percent of Germany,” one journalist said in another tweet on the Schuhplattler video. “But 90 percent of people abroad think this is all of us.

Bavarian premier Markus Söder defended the opening ceremony. 

He said on Twitter: “Bavaria is the land of homeland and custom: many thanks to our traditional costume associations, musicians and mountain riflemen for their support in welcoming the G7 heads of state. They present the Free State and our traditions with great pride. It was a great backdrop.”

Like every year, the pictures of G7 leaders joking around and getting up, close and personal have also been commented on.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signals to the other G7 leaders during a photo shoot at Elmau. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Kappeler
 
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signals to the other G7 leaders during a photo shoot at Elmau.
 
We’d love to be a fly on the wall for the private conversations being held between the leaders. Here German Chancellor Olaf Scholz looks on in amusement at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Elmau on June 26th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Elmau on June 26th.

The lack of women G7 leaders was also commented on. 

SHOW COMMENTS