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GBCA gets on board with Climate Bonds Initiative

Brookfield Tower Place, the first green bond certified under the climate bonds standard for low carbon buildings
Brookfield Tower Place, the first green bond certified under the climate bonds standard for low carbon buildings

Australian property owners with Green Star – Performance ratings can now access funds from large institutional investors seeking low-carbon assets, thanks to a partnership between the Green Building Council of Australia and the Climate Bonds Initiative.

The GBCA’s Green Star – Performance tool will now meet the reporting requirements of the Climate Bonds Standard, which has been developed to help investors determine suitable investments for addressing climate change.

“Green bond issuance tripled globally last year to $36.6 billion – and that figure is expected to double by the end of this year,” GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said. “It’s clear that the market is looking for guidance to determine energy-efficient and low-carbon assets that will be sustainable investments over the long term.”

She said having Green Star – Performance greenhouse gas emissions data recognised under the Climate Bonds Standard would help industry avoid duplication in reporting and verification and accelerate investment in green buildings.

“A Green Star – Performance rating, which requires annual reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, provides a clear avenue for portfolio owners wanting to fund upgrades or refinance existing low-carbon buildings through climate bonds,” Ms Madew adds.

For Climate Bonds certification, proceeds must be dedicated to buildings that can demonstrate low-carbon emissions in operation for the life of the bond through an annual monitoring and verification process. Buildings must meet the Climate Bonds low-carbon trajectory in terms of carbon intensity (based on local market performance with a zero carbon by 2050 endpoint).

Chief executive of the Climate Bonds Initiative Sean Kidney said the partnership would make it easier for building portfolio owners and lenders to access the green bonds market.

“Green property bonds now stand to become the largest slice of the green bonds market,” he said.

The GBCA will also confidentially share data on greenhouse gas emissions from Green Star – Performance buildings to enable Climate Bonds Initiative to set low-carbon market benchmarks and associated trajectory in other property sectors – including the retail, industrial and university sectors.

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