On 26 March 2024, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a consultation paper containing draft technical standards supplementing the EU Green Bond Regulation. The consultation paper is the first of two consultations planned by ESMA with the other set for Q1 2025.

The EU Green Bond Regulation lays down uniform requirements for issuers of bonds that wish to use the designation ‘European green bond’ or ‘EuGB’ for their environmentally sustainable bonds. The Regulation establishes a registration system and supervisory framework for external reviewers of European green bonds and to prevent greenwashing in the green bonds market in general, the Regulation also provides for some voluntary disclosure requirements for other environmentally sustainable bonds and sustainability-linked bonds issued in the EU.

In this consultation paper ESMA sets out four draft regulatory technical standards and one draft implementing technical standard relating to the registration and supervision of entities interested in becoming external reviewers of EU green bonds. They also seek to clarify the criteria used for assessing an application for registration by an external reviewer. The draft technical standards cover the:

  • Criteria to be assessed at the time of registration relating to senior management, board members and analytical resources per Article 23(2)(a) and(b) EU Green Bond Regulation.
  • Criteria to assess sound and prudent management and management of conflicts of interest per Article 27(1) and (2) EU Green Bond Regulation.
  • Criteria for assessing knowledge and experience of analysts per Article 28(1) and (3) EU Green Bond Regulation.
  • Criteria applicable to outsourcing of assessment activities per Article 33(7) EU Green Bond Regulation.
  • Standard forms, templates and procedures for the provision of registration information per Article 23(7) EU Green Bond Regulation.

Next steps

The deadline for comments on the consultation paper is 14 June 2024.

ESMA will consider the feedback received to the consultation and submit the draft technical standards to the European Commission by 21 December 2024.