There have been green bonds issued in emerging markets, especially in China. But outside China, they have been isolated dots on the map.
The Green Cornerstone Bond Fund, however, is entirely different. Due to be fully green in seven years, the fund, administered by Amundi, will invest in green bonds issued only by banks from the emerging markets. This allows for efficient dissemination of green funds to the real economy.
Many green or sustainable projects are too small to warrant a bond sold to international investors, so by encouraging EM banks to issue green bonds, international investors’ money can be channelled to a much wider variety of projects, and with any luck, give them cheaper funding.
The IFC is offering issuers a technical assistance facility designed to enable banks to issue senior debt with the same ease, and at the same cost, as conventional senior deals. It will also help banks with annual impact reporting, thereby removing two large barriers to entry — additional costs and extensive, complicated reporting.
Of course the fund has a long way to go — part of the work will be trying to drum up sufficient issuance — but the stimulus it will provide at a local level will go further to finance climate change control than anything before it in the field of green bonds.