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.
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.”