Record 2019 GB Issuance $255bn! EU largest market: US, China, France lead Top 20 national rankings: Sovereign GBs & Certified Bonds gain momentum

$350-400bn forecast for 2020; The vital $1trillion in annual green investment coming into sight - Sean Kidney

Climate Bonds' analysis of annual green bond and loan issuance for 2019 shows USD254.9bn as of 31st December, that meet internationally accepted definitions of green, a new global record.

This total is up by 49% on the final 2018 figure of USD171.1bn and just above our January 2019 forecast of USD230-250bn for the year

Of the total, USD 6.8bn (2.6%) are green loans. 

Climate Bonds' new forecast for 2020 is USD350-400bn in global annual green bond/loan issuance. 


Figure 1: Global Annual Green Bond Issuance CY 2015-2019


Global Rankings - EU largest market 

Climate Bonds data shows the largest international green bond market was the European Union (EU) with USD106.7bn of annual issuance.

The USA tops national rankings with USD50.6bn, China at USD30.1bn & France the third largest green issuing nation at USD29.5bn. 

Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Canada, Spain, filled out the remaining Top 10 national positions. Supranationals (MDBs, DFIs) issued USD 14.5bn. 


Figure 2: Top 20 2019 Green Bond Issuance by country at 31 December 2019


EU, US and China comprise 73% of global total 

Collectively, the EU, US and China account for a healthy 73.5% of the CY 2019 global total.  

Total 2019 China green issuance under domestic regulations is over USD53bn (equivalent), with USD30.1bn of those bonds aligned with international definitions and reporting rules, hence counted in the Climate Bonds annual totals. 



Figure 3: Green Bond Issuance by largest global economies CY 2019


2019 At a Glance

The top 5 cumulative green bond issuers for 2019 were Fannie Mae (USD22.8bn), KFW (USD9.02bn), Dutch State Treasury Agency (USD6.66bn), Republic of France (USD 6.57bn) and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (USD5.85bn).  


Table 1: Top 5 largest green bond issuers CY 2019 at 31st December


The five largest individual green bonds/loans issued in 2019 were from Dutch State Treasury Agency (Climate Bonds Certified) at EUR5.99bn (USD6.66bn), KfW EUR3bn (USD 3.36bn), Industrial Bank Co., Ltd. CNY20.0bn (USD2.91bn), Republic of France EUR2.47bn (USD2.77bn) and the Noor Energy 1(ACWA Power, Silk Road Fund) (Climate Bonds Certified) USD2.69bn green loan, funding single largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) site in the world. 


Table 2: Top 10 largest CY 2019 individual Green Bond/Loans at 31st December


Use of Proceeds 

Clean energy dominated overall Use of Proceeds at 31.5%, followed by low carbon buildings on 29.3%, low carbon transport 20.2%, water 9.3%, with land use and waste both at 3.5% and other categories comprising the remainder.  


Figure 4: Use of Proceeds Breakdown CY 2019 (USD255bn) at 31st December


Figure 5: CY 2014 -CY 2019 Green Bond and Green Loan Issuance by individual sector


Sovereign Green Bonds gathering momentum

Sovereign green bonds in 2019 reached just over USD25.8bn (approx. 10%) of total issuance for the year, comprised of both repeat sovereign issuers and inaugural transactions from Chile and the Netherlands. The cumulative total of issuing nations/regions has reached twelve. 

Chile has announced additional green issuance in 2020, France and Netherlands are expected to issue again and inaugural sovereign issuance has been foreshadowed from Egypt, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Sweden and Spain, among others.


Record Climate Bonds Certification 

Climate Bonds Certified bonds/loans for the year reached new record (USD39.3bn) of volume, reflecting an acceleration of green issuers demonstrating international market best practice. Cumulative Climate Climate Bond Certifications passed USD100bn market milestone in early December 2019.


The Last Word

Climate Bonds will be releasing a full analysis of the USD255bn of global green issuance in our forthcoming 2019 Highlights report scheduled for end January 2020.

In conjunction with China Bonds, we'll also release a full analysis of all Chinese green issuance in our forthcoming China 2019 report in Q1 2020.

We'll leave with the comments of CEO Sean Kidney:

“The 2019 results and 2020 estimates bring the vital international milestone of $1trillion in annual green investment by 2021/2022 into sight.” 

He adds, “Acceleration into trillions of annual investments to support transition, adaptation and resilience must become the hallmark of the new decade.”

“We need:

  • multiple sovereign green issuances by governments;
  • decisive action from central banks and regulators,
  • institutional investors de-risking and realigning investment strategies towards zero-carbon;
  • banks and insurers greening their portfolios;
  • and global corporations committing to the Paris goals and TCFD."

"These will be the signs of market maturation and the financial sector driving capital re-allocation in the 2020s to face the climate emergency.”


'Till next time,

Climate Bonds