SEBI notifies stronger framework for green bonds

Markets regulator Sebi on Friday strengthened the framework for green bonds by introducing the concept of ‘blue’ and ‘yellow’ bonds as new modes of sustainable finance. Blue bonds relate to water management and marine sector, while yellow bonds pertain to solar energy. These are sub-categories of green debt securities. For this, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) amended norms governing issue and listing of non-convertible securities, according to a notification. The amendment came after the board of Sebi approved a proposal in this regard in December. As per the notification, the watchdog has strengthened the framework for green bonds by enhancing the scope of definition of green debt security by including new modes of sustainable finance in relation to pollution prevention and control and eco-efficient products. These measures have been taken in the backdrop of increasing interest in sustainable finance in India as well as around the globe, and with a view to align the extant framework for green debt securities with the updated Green Bond Principles (GBP) recognised by IOSCO. The regulatory framework defines Green Debt Securities as debt securities issued for raising funds that are to be utilised for projects or assets falling under certain categories.