Green bonds for the Paris agreement and sustainable development goals

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Development Programme both entail substantial global investments through cost-efficient, long-term financing. Noted for their risk-alleviating features and appeal to institutional and socially responsible investors, green bonds are gaining prominence in climate change and sustainable development finance frameworks. This study is the first to thoroughly examine publicly reported green bond proceeds allocations from 53 organizations to projects and assets throughout 96 countries from 2008 to 2017. Green bond markets are growing rapidly, and yearly proceeds allocation trends reveal increasing disbursements to renewable energy, clean water, low-carbon transportation, and other Paris Agreement and SDG-related investment categories. Circle plot analysis reveals unique allocation trends to specific green sectors at both regional and national levels. International finance institutions allocated the largest share of proceeds by both frequency and volume, and the projects and assets financed with green bonds in this study sample are associated with over 108 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in greenhouse gas emissions reductions and over 1500 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity. The study concludes with suggestions for improving green bond post-issuance reporting and provides insights for future green bond applications in expanding Paris and SDG agendas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064009
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 31 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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