| LONDON, March 6
LONDON, March 6 A raft of developing countries
are considering selling bonds earmarked for environmental
projects, potentially accelerating growth in a market seen as
crucial to efforts to keep global temperatures in check.
France and Poland have in recent months become the first
sovereigns to issue 'green' bonds, previously the domain mainly
of development banks and companies.
Among the hundreds of financiers that descended on London
for a major green bond conference on Monday, there were hints
that other governments such as Kenya and China are planning to
help scale up this market to meet a 2015 pledge by world leaders
to limit global warming this century to below 2 degrees Celsius.
West African powerhouse Nigeria is set to be next, having
last month unveiled plans to launch a local currency green bond
in April. But further east on the continent similar plans are
The governor of the central bank of Kenya, Patrick Njoroge,
told Reuters that there will be a sovereign debt issue "down the
road" to follow a fast-approaching private sector initiative
from a number of banks.
"We have a huge pool of investors and you would hope that
with time this would become a fashion. There is no other show in
town, it has to be green," Njoroge said at the event hosted by
London-based non-profit Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).
Speaking earlier to an audience, Njoroge said that emerging
markets were not the biggest contributors to climate change, but
they were feeling the most pain through events such as droughts.
The appeal of green bonds appears to be spreading across
Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the conference,
Kwangchul Ji, a director in the Korean finance ministry, said
there was "interest" from both his government and the private
sector on green bond projects.
Nearby China has been the driving force behind the rapid
expansion of the green debt market, which CBI estimates grew by
more than $80 billion globally last year, the best year since
inception around a decade ago.
Tracy Cai, the founder of Beijing-based sustainability
consultancy SynTao, said that green bond issuance from China
alone is estimated to reach $60 billion in 2017 and should
include its first such sovereign bond.
At 7 billion euros, France's green bond in January was the
largest to date, trumping a record set by China's Bank of
Communications which sold a 30 billion yuan ($4.35 billion)
two-tranche issue in November 2016.
OECD studies suggest annual green debt issuance worldwide
will need to rise to $620 billion-$720 billion by 2035 if the
G20 is going to meet its climate change targets. The studies are
based on the average capital mix -- equity, loans and bonds --
of green projects.
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)