Defining ‘green’ for ecological infrastructure bonds

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Lionel Mok

Publication Date:

Increasing awareness among governments, companies, and financial institutions has spurred interest in ‘green’ labeled bonds and other investment vehicles as a mechanism to reduce risk and increase sustainability. Commonly used as long-term debt instruments, green bonds are issued by governments, companies, and other institutions to finance or re-finance assets or activities with environmental benefits. They may also be an efficient source of funding for ecological infrastructure (EI). EI encompasses a highly diverse set of natural features that support socio-economic and environmental processes. EI assets can be maintained and enhanced through capital and operating expenditures by governments, businesses, communities, and individuals. Science-based criteria are essential to investor confidence in the sustainability dimensions of the green bonds they purchase. Such criteria should be designed to ensure that bond proceeds are used to enhance climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience of communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. To maximize their potential contribution to global sustainability goals, green bond criteria should accommodate the full diversity of potential EI assets and enhancement activities (e.g. protection, restoration, sustainable use, warning systems), while also recognizing complicating factors such as transboundary issues. This discussion will explore principles and strategies for developing robust, broadly applicable, widely accepted green bond criteria. Specific examples from current practice will be shared.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration