News & Insights

ESG Excellence

November 16, 2022

New in November: A Record for Green Financing, The Road to COP28, Commitment to Making Telecommunications Sustainable, and More

At King & Spalding, we are advising our clients on ESG issues every day. We are tackling our clients’ most pressing ESG matters and doing so while collaborating across industries and practice areas. Our attorneys in Corporate, Finance and Investments, Government Matters and Trial and Global Disputes are actively involved and ready to help our clients in this fast-moving area. Below are a few of the ESG issues, topics and developments that we have been tracking this month.

  1. Climate Change: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA). The UICCA will bring together members of the public and private sector, including academic institutions and non-governmental organizations to drive the UAE’s commitment towards net zero by 2050. The UICCA will facilitate international business, innovation and technology partnerships that work towards the common goal of tackling climate change. The main sectors of focus will include electric mobility, sustainable fuels, energy efficiency, green buildings, smart cities, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and a growing AgTech and Climate Tech.
  2. Green Bonds: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) raised $3 billion to become the first sovereign wealth fund to issue green bonds. $500 million worth of 100-year notes will be sold at a yield of 6.7 percent and $1.25 billion in five-year bonds were launched at 125 basis points over US Treasuries (UST) and $1.25 billion in 10-year paper at 165 bps over USTs. According to the investor presentation that accompanied the launch, PIF expects to invest more than $10 billion in eligible green projects, including renewable energy, clean transport and sustainable water management by 2026.
  3. UAE Bank: First Abu Dhabi Bank has launched $700 million in five-year green bonds at 125 basis points over U.S. Treasuries (UST). As a result of initial demand for the bonds topping $1.6 billion, the initial guidance of 145-150 bps over UST was tightened. This suggests a promising future for green investors in the UAE and a commitment to revolutionary green financing from the key commercial entities in the country.
  4. Dubai International Finance Centre: Ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) taking place in Expo City Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced a year-long partnership with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) aimed at driving change across the world’s financial industry relating to delivering Net Zero; unlocking Islamic Finance; financing nature and biodiversity; and financing the sustainable development goals. As host financial center for GEFI’s Path to COP28 program, DIFC will support a series of report launches, roundtables and community engagements in the coming year.
  5. Islamic Finance and sustainable finance: A new Sustainable Finance Framework has been created by the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) in order to finance environmental and social projects. The framework will allow the DIB to issue green and sustainability-linked Islamic bonds and loans to fund projects in renewable energy, clean transport, green buildings and wastewater management as well as support job creation and affordable housing.

In Case You Missed It
In case you missed them, linked below are some recent Client Alerts from King & Spalding on particular ESG-related legal developments along with other links of interest.