Green Bonds and the Poo of Bull
I wish I could say I was making the following up. I hope you will fact-check me and tell me what I am missing. I will gladly publish a follow up with a retraction — anything to show that trillions of dollars are in fact flowing towards an economy in service of life.
Here’s the thing: As part of the work-in-progress Matereality assessment on JBS, I dug into the brouhaha around their sustainability-linked bond. The advocacy group Mighty Earth recently brought forward a whistleblower complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleging JBS’ green bonds are fraudulent. It seemed timely, so I had a look.
Green bonds — a growing piece of the (un)sustainable finance pie
To be clear, I wasn’t a proponent of green bonds in the first place. I lump them in with broader concerns around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures, and grumbled about this a few years ago.
ESG Data is Like Less Wife Beating
Imagine a friend telling us a story about his mother. She called him up to say: “I’ve got some great news! I counted up…
And in the TD Bank Matereality assessment I shared in 2022 —
Does TD Bank Belong in the Future?
No, unless they change two fundamental things, ASAP
— I provide details of the specious nature of many “sustainable finance” disclosures.
Now taking a fresh look at green bonds with the JBS assessment in mind, I find them as problematic as ever. The thing is, this is not unique to JBS — it’s pretty much status quo for the green bond marketplace.
I don’t want to be a whistleblower. I don’t want to take anyone to court. I just want to know: what is actually happening with the money?