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Opinion
Marcus Ashworth

Spain Is the Opening Act for the EU's Big Green Autumn

The bloc could have stronger standards for its climate-friendly bonds but it is still providing a beacon for companies anxious for leadership.

EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn in Brussels on Tuesday.

EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn in Brussels on Tuesday.

Photographer: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images Europe

Nothing says the European summer is over and business is restarting like a blowout sovereign bond sale. Tuesday’s inaugural green bond launch for the Kingdom of Spain certainly fits that bill. The 5 billion-euro ($6 billion) 21-year deal received orders well over 10 times what was on offer. Investors just cannot greenify their portfolios quickly enough. But this is just the first course of what’s on offer for EU green bond issuance come autumn.

Leaving aside the U.K.’s inaugural green Gilt due later in the month — after all, it is no longer part of the bloc — the real focus will be on the European Union itself which is fast becoming the world leader on green finance. Indeed, London has some catching up to do.