Bonds News

Belgium plans to issue first green bond in 2018

BRUSSELS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Belgium will issue its first bond for use in financing projects to reduce the country’s carbon emissions, Prime Minister Charles Michel will say later on Tuesday.

Belgium would follow a number of countries that have sold or plan to sell “green bonds”. Poland became the first a year ago, followed by France with a 7 billion euro issue in January. Ireland, Italy and Portugal are also looking into the possibility.

Michel will formally announce Belgium’s plans to sell between 3 and 5 billion euros ($3.5-5.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2018 at the One Planet summit in Paris on Tuesday, the prime minister’s spokesman said. The summit, marking the second anniversary of the Paris climate accord, is centred on financing climate change.

Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper, which published an interview with the prime minister on the subject, said that the bond sale would be principally used to finance the railways, energy-efficient renovations of public buildings and research and development projects into storing renewable energy.

The completion of an extended commuter rail service serving Brussels needs around 1 billion euros.

The bond would be aimed at institutional investors.

Belgium is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by 35 percent in 2030, relative to 2005. ($1 = 0.8483 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)