The Ontario Green Bond Framework Isn't Green Without Nuclear
Canadians for Nuclear Energy
March 25, 2023
The Ontario Financing Authority Must Do Its Part for Canadian Nuclear
Since the founding of the Ontario Green Bond Framework (GBF) in 2014, the Ontario Financing Authority (OFA) has provided no basis for the exclusion of nuclear energy. In its second opinion, the Center for International Climate Research Oslo (CICERO) made no comment on the exclusion of nuclear from the GBF, leaving the door open for nuclear’s later inclusion in the framework.
The inclusion of nuclear energy projects in Ontario’s GBF is fully consistent with the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles (GBPs), and this has been confirmed by the OFA’s choice independent consultant, CICERO. Ontario’s Green Bond Framework aims to be consistent with the GBPs maintained by ICMA and was made in consultation with CICERO. ICMA does not oppose the inclusion of nuclear and, in fact, finds it acceptable if close scrutiny is applied. CICERO Shades of Green applied this scrutiny to green financing framework by both of Ontario’s nuclear operators, Bruce Power and OPG, and found their nuclear projects to align with green bond principles.
Nuclear has an unmatched role in Ontario’s climate and clean energy strategy. As Canada’s center of expertise for nuclear power, Ontario’s nuclear sector plays an important role in national decarbonization efforts, as federally recognized in the SMR Action Plan. Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Hon. David Piccini, called nuclear energy
that creates social benefit through well-paying, high-skilled jobs and the production of medical isotopes. CICERO Shades of Green has confirmed the importance of nuclear power in Ontario from a sustainability and green finance perspective through close evaluation of both nuclear operators, OPG and Bruce Power, including their upstream and downstream operations.
Bonds are an important funding mechanism for nuclear projects, which have high capital costs but offer a huge return to the province in terms of advancing climate and sustainability goals, as well as creating jobs and stimulating community-based economic opportunity. With the largest single GBF bond offering having reached as high as $2.75 billion, including nuclear in the GBF would be transformative for Ontario’s ability to meet its climate, clean energy, and sustainability goals in a timely manner. Investors proved the potential for nuclear green bonds in 2020 by oversubscribing Bruce Power’s $500 million bond 6 times over.
The 2021 GBF annual newsletter announced plans to update and expand the GBF. The OFA should use this as an opportunity to strike the exclusion of nuclear power from the GBF and include nuclear energy projects as eligible projects under the Clean Energy and Technology category.
Add your name to ask the Ontario Finance Authority to add nuclear to the Ontario Green Bond.