Due to their relative newness on the scene, green bonds are still perceived as a niche option by some investors. In reality, as you read this, they are hitting the mainstream. In 2018, new issuance of green bonds hit $168 billion, skyrocketing from just $42 billion back in 2015. This year is projected to set a record for new issues, with estimates as high as $250 billion.* In short, it’s becoming increasingly clear that green bonds are here to stay. And in a context of increasing investor scrutiny of the risks of ‘greenwashing’, independent experts like the Climate Bonds Initiative can help ensure you’re getting exactly what it says on the tin.
But what of the premium – or so-called “greenium” – that investors are wary may come with doing well by doing good? Does it actually exist? It is true that many investors believe that ethical concerns come at the cost of financial performance – or, to put it more plainly, that ‘you get what you pay for’. Surely the environmental benefits ramp up the price, making green bonds more expensive than their ‘vanilla’ counterparts – or do they?
*Source for all figures: Climate Bonds Initiative, 30/08/2019.
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