04 April 2018: Update of the second party opinion on the sustainability of the French Republic’s Green OAT

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Update of the second party opinion1 on the sustainability of the French Republic’s Green OAT

In the interest of transparency, Agence France Trésor requested an update of the second party opinion on the sustainability performance of the Green OAT 1.75% 25 June 2039 in view of the first tap issue for this bond in 2018. This updated opinion, published on Wednesday 4 April, was provided by Vigeo Eiris, the independent agency that had issued the second party opinion for the inaugural issuance on 24 January 2017.

In its updated opinion, Vigeo Eiris notes: “France's overall sustainability performance, as a sovereign bond issuer, is advanced and stable”. The issuer achieves “advanced” (the highest level on Vigeo Eiris’ rating scale) for overall social and environmental performance, and also advanced for the Environmental Responsibility domain. In addition, Vigeo Eiris expresses “a reasonable level of assurance on the green credentials on the Green Expenditures identified by the interministerial working group” to be matched by potential Green OAT issuance in 2018.

Download the full annual update of Vigeo Eiris’ second party opinion.

Additional background:
Vigeo Eiris, acting as independent thrid-party expert, was commissioned by Agence France Trésor to update its independent opinion on the on the sustainability credentials and management of the Green OAT. Download the review conducted as part of the inaugural issue.

On 24 January 2017, Agence France Trésor launched the first sovereign green bond with a maturity of 22 years. The Green OAT 1.75% 25 June 2039 issuance amount was €7bn, making it the largest and longest-dated green benchmark bond ever issued. By becoming the first country in the world to issue a sovereign green benchmark bond, France confirmed its role as a driving force for the implementation of the goals of the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

As it does for the other OATs, and similar to what it had done on two occasions in June and December 2017, AFT intends to tap its green bond – whose outstanding amount currently stands at €9.7bn – to meet market demand and within the limit of the amount of eligible green expenditure, which comes to €8bn for 2018.

Agence France Trésor will retap the Green OAT 1.75% 25 June 2039 on Thursday 5 April 2018 at 10:50 AM Paris time.

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1 This opinion is to be considered as the “Second Party Opinion” described by the Green Bond Principles 2017 of the International Capital Market Association.