The pandemic has brought into the mainstream the legal areas of sustainable and climate finance. Thanks to a combination of increasing investor awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and regulatory intervention (e.g. via the EU Green Deal framework) this is no longer a niche area. However, since so much of the activity is currently voluntary rather than mandated by regulation, the landscape has become incredibly difficult to navigate. With multiple ESG development frameworks, multiple ESG reporting frameworks, multiple sustainability standards, multiple offsetting criteria and offset types, it has become very challenging to identify the right shade of 'green' to be associated with.
We support our clients through this maze as they participate in the very important process of energy transition. For example, by assisting them to develop, negotiate and transact in environmental financing products, such as ‘green loans’, ‘green bonds’ and sustainable financing arrangements (whether debt or equity) or in the development of carbon neutral commodity products.
Our team of multidisciplinary lawyers can advise on all aspects of this sector.
- Instructed to advise the Government of Bhutan on the structure of a US$50 million Bhutan Climate Fund to facilitate the monetisation of Bhutan’s net negative greenhouse gas emissions and carbon offsets, increase the viability of hydropower projects in Bhutan and support the Government in meeting its international climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement.
- UN fund – advised on a range of public health investments relating to development of innovative HIV, TB and Malaria diagnostics and drugs, as well as advising on sustainable finance issues related to micro-levies on air fares and other consumption taxes.
- Sustainable finance arm of a French bank – acted on a US$9 million long-term loan facility to fund a hazelnut project in Bhutan, and is to be disbursed in tranches based on the project achieving both environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives and commercial targets.
- International commodity trader - advised on its US$300 million sustainability-linked borrowing base facility with 11 banks led by BNP Paribas as Facility Agent and Rabobank as Sustainability Coordinator, including KPIs linked with education programmes and female empowerment among small holder farmers in East Africa. At inception in 2018, this deal won recognition as “TXF Overall Commodities Finance Deal of the Year”.
- International commodity trader – advised on its US$ 17m long-term loan from Dutch Development Bank FMO to fund coffee washing stations and capital expenditure in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Colombia including monitoring and reporting on environmental and social action plans, and on development impacts.
- International commodity trader – advised on its US$110m pre-export finance facility with Rabobank, ING, Société Générale and Natixis to finance green coffee stocks in Brazil. At inception this deal won TXF Soft Commodities Finance Deal of the Year.