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Global Green and Sustainability Bond Issuances in the First Half of 2021 Nearly Tripled in Comparison With the Same Period of the Last Year

According to Refinitiv, green and sustainability bond issuances totalled 809.5 billion USD globally in the first half of 2021, nearly tripling from the 286.7 billion USD in issuances in the same period last year. This number also exceeded the total of 743 billion USD recorded in the whole of 2020.

Stimulating government policy is one factor that is driving deals. Moreover, the publication of updated principles for the issuance of green and sustainability-linked bonds mid last year by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) to avoid «greenwashing» has also helped spur deals. More and better quality disclosures on non-financial and ESG performance metrics has also been important to the growth of sustainability-linked debt issuance.

The European Union has taken a leading role on ESG disclosure requirements, issuing a directive in 2014 to its member nations to make the disclosure mandatory step by step. In the United States, a bill passed in June by the House of Representatives to make the disclosure of specific ESG data mandatory for listed companies, if approved by the Senate, will support the green and sustainability bond market in the world’s largest economy.