Sustainable debt issuance hit all-time high in 2019

That’s according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which says it reached record levels of $465 billion, up 78% from $261.4 billion the previous year

In 2019, the volume of sustainable debt issued globally hit a record high of $465 billion (£358bn), up 78% from $261.4 billion (£201.3bn) the previous year.

That’s according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which says last year also saw all-time, cumulative issuance of sustainable debt break through the $1 trillion (£770bn) barrier and reach $1.17 trillion (£900bn) by 31st December.

Sustainable debt includes products such as green bonds, which made up more than half the market in 2019 – $271 billion (£208.7bn) of green bonds were issued, up from $182 billion (£140.2bn) in 2018.

BNEF notes sustainability-linked loans are now the second most popular type of sustainable debt – linked to the borrower’s environmental performance, they encourage greener behaviours.

The volume of sustainability-linked loans rose by 168% to $122 billion (£94bn) in 2019.

The report highlights Europe pioneered the field of sustainable debt and continues to make up 53% of the global market – along with the Middle East and Africa, it issued $262 billion (£202bn) throughout 2019.

Mortgage financier Fannie Mae was the largest issuer of global sustainable debt, providing mortgages worth a total of $22.8 billion (£17.6bn).

Jonas Rooze, Lead Sustainability Analyst at BNEF, said: “Our data show sustainable finance continuing to power ahead on a global basis.

“The steep increase is fuelled by end-investors’ concerns about the threat of climate change and the desire of many big company, bank and government leaders to be seen as behaving responsibly.”

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