Posted on 28/10/2016 in category Convention

Recent BIR World Recycling Convention (Round-Table Sessions) in Amsterdam

(24-25 October 2016)

International Environment Council: The expanding world of Green Bonds

Chaired by Olivier François of Galloo in Belgium, the latest International Environment Council (IEC) meeting in Amsterdam on October 25 featured two guest presentations. Tjitske Ypma, Co-ordinator of Circular Economy Diplomacy at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, confirmed her government’s aim of achieving a 100% circular economy by the year 2050. Routes to this goal are currently being defined for the different materials, with the transition agenda set to be completed next year.

Ms Ypma went on to acknowledge the need for EU waste legislation to be “more positive” and to avoid erecting “tall barriers” for smaller and medium-size companies in particular.

The expanding world of Green Bonds was addressed by Samantha Sutcliffe, Senior Advisor to SEB Bank in Sweden. Describing them as a “powerful instrument” for accessing private capital for climate finance, she noted that around US$ 40bn worth of Green Bonds were issued in 2015 and that the figure is “still accelerating fairly fast”. The “waste and pollution” segment is capturing around 8% of the proceeds at present as compared to a combined 62% for renewable energy and buildings, she also revealed.

Pointing out that recycling prevents more than 700m tonnes of carbon emissions every year, BIR World President Ranjit Baxi of J&H Sales International in the UK argued that more Green Bond finance should be channelled in its direction. Ms Sutcliffe welcomed the observation and agreed to raise the matter with stakeholders.
Politicians must take action to prioritise the introduction of electronic rather than paper-based control procedures for transboundary waste movements. This message was at the core of representations made recently by BIR Trade & Environment Director Ross Bartley.

Addressing the IEC meeting in Amsterdam, Mr Bartley said authorisation timelines for waste shipments were still based on “1980s technology”. He insisted: “We have got companies waiting a year for authorisations. We really need some political action because inefficiencies are costing businesses a lot of money.”

Mr Bartley also commented on further developments relating to the Environmental Goods Agreement at World Trade Organization level, an initiative designed to remove barriers to trade for “green” goods deemed crucial for the environment. Recycled commodities should be included on the list of environmental goods when this comes up for revision in the future, he emphasised.