The Climate Bonds Low Carbon Buildings Technical Working Group is reconvening to expand the reach of the Low Carbon Buildings Standard for investors, launched in 2014.

The LCBS is an investor-screening tool that applies emissions performance criteria to assess whether bonds issued to fund commercial and residential buildings and upgrade/retrofits deliver a robust level of environmental performance to qualify for Climate Bonds Certification.

The first green bond certified under the Low Carbon Buildings criteria was issued by the ANZ Bank in May 2015, with proceeds of $600 million allocated to green buildings, wind energy and solar energy loans in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia. This was followed by ABN AMRO who issued a certified €500m (AU$749.2m) bond in June 2015.

The Technical Working Group has expanded its membership to include new representation from BRE Group, Better Buildings Partnership, Geophy, and Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project, and will be analysing international developments in sustainable building standards and building energy performance data to drive evolution of the LCBS.

“Trust in environmental and financial results is essential to mobilising capital for energy efficiency retrofits at the scale needed to turn the corner on climate change,” Environmental Defense Fund Investor Confidence Project Europe director Panama Bartholomew said.

“We look forward to working with the Climate Bonds Initiative to ensure that investment in building projects deliver on their potential to increase savings and cut pollution.”

Climate Bonds chief executive Sean Kidney said accelerated investment was needed to assist nations meet their Paris climate targets.

“The Low Carbon Buildings TWG will look to adapt the Standard to take into account the latest developments in low carbon and sustainable building assessment,” he said. “This will provide additional guidance for investors seeking to make significant financial commitments in green bonds that fund low carbon building projects.”

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