European Commission shows ‘extraordinary’ growth of green bonds since 2007

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Green bonds used to finance environmental projects have shown ‘extraordinary growth’ since 2007 according to the European Commission.

In 2012, just $2.6 billion of green bonds were issued globally. According to a European Commission study, this had risen to $74.3 billion by end of November 2016.

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European and Chinese issuers make up the largest share of the climate-aligned bonds market globally, with France and UK the biggest issuers in Europe.

However, the study also identified key bottlenecks and measures to overcome them to allow these bonds to fulfil their potential.

This includes the lack of green project pipelines, as well as the absence of a green bonds definition and framework as holding back development.

Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella (pictured) said: “The EU has positioned itself well, to allow companies and municipalities to be among the frontrunners in the expanding green bond market.

“We must double our efforts to eliminate existing bottlenecks. This will allow green bonds to move towards a circular economy and fulfil our energy and climate commitments.”

Renewable energy (45.8% of global issuance) leads the way, followed by energy efficiency (19.6%), low carbon transport (13.4%), sustainable water (9.3%) and waste and pollution (5.6%).