21 July 2022: Green OATs: Publication of the fifth impact assessment report, dedicated to public subsidies allocated to Weather Forecast and Earth Observation Activities

Agence France Trésor (AFT) has just released a new environmental impact assessment report as part of its monitoring of expenditure funded by the Green OATs.
This new report focuses on the environmental impact of public subsidies to weather forecast and Earth observation activities of several French and European organisations, including Météo-France, the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). These organisations have benefited from eligible green expenditure for green bonds issued by Agence France Trésor.

In a context of climate emergency, this report shows that this funding allows different actors to better anticipate and manage the effects of climate change while protecting biodiversity and reducing pollution. Weather forecasting and earth observation can be used in different ways:

  • They contribute to the prevention and control of forest fire risks;
  • They give to farmers the information they need to limit the negative effects of phytosanitary treatments and fertilisers;
  • They help ships to optimise their trajectory and thus reduce their carbon emissions;
  • They allow the public authorities to detect coastal erosion and to better protect territories against sea rise and flood risks;
  • They are used in the analysis of urban heat islands, which aims to make cities more liveable in the context of global warming;
  • They provide the useful data to scientific research on climate change.

Cyril Rousseau, Director General of Agence France Trésor, pointed out . “This new report illustrates the decisive role of public funding in favour of ecological transition. Weather forecasting and Earth observation are essential for the successful implementation of a large number of activities, which they help to guide by integrating climate, biodiversity and pollution reduction issues.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF International lead climate and energy, and chairman of the sovereign French green bonds evaluation council (OAT) said:  “This study stands out in several respects. Firstly, it highlights the positive impact of quality weather forecast and Earth observation in a wide range of sectors, such as agriculture, forestry management, maritime transport and electricity production. And secondly, because it emphasises adaptation to climate change which is still not being sufficiently addressed by the sustainable finance sector. Without their support we will be on the losing end of tackling the climate crisis.
This report, produced by Citizing, has been supervised by the Green OATs Evaluation Council, which gather independent experts in the fields of green finance and environmental policy.

Download the Council’s opinion on the Impact Assessment Report on the public subsidies allocated to Weather Forecast and Earth Observation

Download the full Impact Assessment Report on the public subsidies allocated to Weather Forecast and Earth Observation Activities

Download an overview of the Impact Assessment Report on the public subsidies allocated to Weather Forecast and Earth Observation Activities

Download the terms of reference for the Impact Assessment Report on the public subsidies allocated to Weather Forecast and Earth Observation Activities

Background

On 24 January 2017, AFT launched the first green sovereign bond (Green OAT) in benchmark size (initially €7bn): the OAT 1.75% 25 June 2039. In doing so, it confirmed France’s leading role in meeting the ambitions set out in the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015. In addition, on 16 March 2021, AFT launched a second Green OAT through syndication: the OAT 0.50% 25 June 2044, governed by the same framework document as the first. These two securities have been retapped since their inaugural issue and now have outstandings of €30.9bn and €16.5bn respectively, for a total of €42.3bn. Finally, on 25th May, AFT launched the a Green OAT linked on the Eurozone inflation, the OAT€I 2038, for an amount of €4bn. The total outstanding amount of these three green securities is therefore currently €51.4 billion. These issuances are used to fund eligible green expenditure, contributing to France’s environmental and climate policy.

This green expenditure must meet one of the four objectives of the Green OATs: i) combatting climate change, ii) adapting to climate change, iii) protecting biodiversity and iv) reducing pollution. To meet these objectives, the programmes funded by the Green OAT belong to six main sectors: building, energy, transport, living resources, pollution and adaptation.
When the Green OAT was first issued, the French government made a commitment to report on the environmental impact of this expenditure, which helps to set high standards within this market. The process for conducting these impact assessments is supervised by the Green OATs Evaluation Council.

Chaired by Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, former Minister of the Environment of Peru, President of COP20 and the Global Leader of Climate & Energy at WWF, the Green OATs Evaluation Council is currently composed of six other independent experts:

• Mats Andersson, Vice-Chair of the Global Challenges Foundation, Chair of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition and former CEO of AP4, Sweden’s fourth national pension fund
• Nathalie Girouard, Head of Division for Environmental Performance and Information in the OECD Environment Directorate
• Mike Holland, independent consultant
• Karin Kemper, former Global Director for Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy at the World Bank
• Rana Roy, independent consultant
• Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg

In addition to this list, there are two observers:

• Sean Kidney, co-founder and CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative
• Nicholas Pfaff, Senior Director of Market Practice and Regulatory Policy at the International Capital Market Association

The Green OATs Evaluation Council defines the terms of reference and the programming of the environmental impact assessment reports for eligible green expenditure funded by the French Green OATs. It also gives its opinion on the quality of the impact assessment reports and the relevance of the results. All of these documents are published on the AFT website. The Secretariat of the Evaluation Council is provided jointly by the CGDD and the Directorate General of the Treasury.

Contact :
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