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[Episode #35] – Green Bonds

What are green bonds, and how can they help mobilize private capital to fund energy transition and climate change mitigation measures? What kinds of things can green bonds be used to fund? What are the various roles for private, corporate, and sovereign issuers? Why does the green bond market need to grow by roughly 10x over the next few years to $1 trillion a year globally, and is there even enough capital out there willing to accept single-digit returns to buy that amount of green bonds? Are green bonds an answer to the stranded assets problem in the fossil fuel sector? And what can the appetite for green bonds tell us about monetary policy and appropriate discount rates for climate change mitigation measures? We get deep into all of these questions with the CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO working to mobilize debt capital markets for climate solutions.

Geek rating: 5

Guest: Sean Kidney is CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO working to mobilize debt capital markets for climate solutions.  Projects include a green bond definitions and certification scheme with $34 trillion of assets represented on its Board; working with the Chinese central bank on how to grow green bonds in China; market development programs in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and East Africa; and a green finance aggregation platform with UNDP. He is co-Chair of the India Green Bonds Council.

On Twitter: @seankidney

On the Web:

Recording date: January 6, 2017

Air date: January 25, 2017


Explaining green bonds,” Climate Bonds Initiative

Climate Bonds Initiative Resources page

Anna Hirtenstein, "Green Bond Giant Awakened by Countries Spending to Save Climate," Bloomberg. (Jan 19, 2017)

Sean Kidney, “The year's final blog: three wins in 2016 and three challenges for 2017,” Climate Bonds Initiative blog. (Dec 23, 2016)

Chris Nelder, “How green bonds could unleash the Kraken of energy transition,” SmartPlanet. (Nov 24, 2013)

Sean Kidney, “Address by Climate Bonds CEO Sean Kidney to Luxembourg Stock Exchange,” Climate Bonds Initiative. (Sep 27, 2016)

Sean Kidney, “French Sovereign GB roadshow starts: they're being ambitious with size, tenor & proceeds reporting. The Year of Sovereign Green Bonds has started!” Climate Bonds Initiative. (Jan 4, 2017)

Reuters, “France to launch inaugural 'green' bond this month.” (Jan 3, 2017)

Frank Ackerman, “Debating Climate Economics: The Stern Review vs. Its Critics,” Tufts University. (July 2007)

Justin Gillis, “Weak Federal Powers Could Limit Trump’s Climate-Policy Rollback,” New York Times. (Jan 2, 2017)

Nicholas Kusnetz, “2016: Canada's Oil Sands Downturn Hints at Ominous Future,” Inside Climate News. (Dec 29, 2016)

Vivian Yee and Patrick McGeehan, “Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant to Close by 2021,” New York Times. (Jan 6, 2017)

Liam Denning, “Ford's Truck Trumps Mexico and Tesla,” Bloomberg. (Jan 4, 2017)

Ford Motor Company press release, “Ford Adding Electrified F-150, Mustang, Transit by 2020 in Major EV Push; Expanded U.S. Plant to Add 700 Jobs to Make EVs, Autonomous Cars.” (Jan 3, 2017)

ChargePoint press release, “ChargePoint Enables the Future of Mobility with Express Plus Electric Vehicle Charging Platform.” (Jan 5, 2017)