Climate Bonds Announces 2021 Awards: Premier recognition of leadership and innovation in green finance enters 6th year

Embargo: 00:00 BST: 21/04/2021

Media Release


Climate Bonds Announces 2021 Awards 

Premier recognition of leadership and innovation in green finance enters 6th year 

Acknowledgement of green sovereigns, sukuk, sustainability and market pioneers


LONDON: 20/04/2021 00:00 BST:  Leading organisations, financial institutions and governments who have led the development of green finance markets over the past year have been recognised in the 2021 Climate Bonds Awards.

The Climate Bonds Awards are the premier international event marking leadership, best practice and innovation in green and sustainable finance with 23 categories encompassing bonds, loans, sukuk, social and sustainability categories and significant market developments in climate-based investment. 

2021 marks the 6th year of the Awards acknowledging achievements of organizations and governments in the sustainable finance sector. For the first time, the Climate Bonds Awards includes a specific transition category, with additional recognition of this fast-growing sector of sustainable finance to be incorporated in future years. 

The 6th Climate Bonds Awards will be streamed on the Climate Bonds YouTube channel today, April 21st at 13:00 BST (1:00 pm London). 


2021 Climate Bonds Awards Recipients:

●      Largest External Review Provider in Number of Deals of 2020 - CICERO.Green

●      Largest Verifier for Certified Climate Bonds of 2020 - Sustainalytics

●      Largest External Review Provider of 2020 in Volume - Sustainalytics

●      Largest Green Sovereign Bond in 2020 - Germany

●      Largest Certified Climate Bond in 2020 - Société du Grand Paris

●      Largest Subnational Green Bond of 2020 - Société du Grand Paris

●      Largest Green Sukuk in 2020 - Republic of Indonesia

●      Largest Emerging Market Certified Climate Bond in 2020 - Government of Chile

●      Largest Development Bank Green Bond in 2020 - KfW

●      Largest Green Asset-Backed Security of 2020 - Freddie Mac

●      Largest Financial Corporate Green Bond of 2020 - Digital Realty Trust

●      Largest Non-Financial Corporate Green Bond in 2020 - Volkswagen

●      Green Market Pioneer: Ghana - Government of Ghana

●      Green Market Pioneer: Guernsey - Globalworth Real Estate Investments

●      Green Market Pioneer: Kazakhstan - Damu Fund

●      Green Market Pioneer: Qatar - QNB Bank

●      Sovereign Green Market Pioneer - Egypt - Arab Republic of Egypt

●      Sovereign Green Market Pioneer - Hungary

●      Sovereign Green Market Pioneer - Thailand - Kingdom of Thailand

●      Largest Sustainability Bond of 2020 - Alphabet Inc

●      Largest Social Bond in 2020 - European Union SURE

●      Largest Pandemic Response Bond in 2020 - European Union SURE

●      Transition Bond of the Year 2020 - EBRD


Comments from Award Recipients:


Tammo Diemer, Member of the Finance Agency's Executive Board, Germany:

“Green German Federal Securities contribute to the strengthening and developing of the sustainable finance market and add to making green bonds attractive to investors. By establishing a green euro interest rate benchmark, we contribute to demonstrating the value of the green financial market.”


Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Republic of Indonesia:

"Climate change issues are very crucial and have always been a major concern of Indonesia. This concern is reflected through various efforts and government policies on climate change."


Rodrigo Cerda Norambuena, Finance Minister, Republic of Chile:

“Chile is firmly committed to climate action. Our green bond issuances demonstrate we’ve taken concrete steps in this direction, achieving low rates and attracting new investors. It is an honour to be recognized by Climate Bonds Initiative and look forward to pushing ahead in this agenda.”


Vincent Gaillard, Chief Financial Officer, SGP:

"We are extremely proud to receive this award, as a testimony of our strong commitment toward green financing backed by our 200km automatic metro lines which will reshape Greater Paris and make it more inclusive and environmentally friendly"


Petra Wehlert, Head of Capital Markets, KfW:

“We are very honoured to be rewarded from CBI with the largest Green Bond from a Development Bank. Since the issuance of our first Green Bond in 2014 our aim was to provide liquidity to the Green Bond Market. This is our first Green Bond with a volume of EUR 6bn – matching the maximum size of our traditional Benchmarks.”


Robert Koontz, Senior Vice President, Multifamily Capital Markets for Freddie Mac:

“Freddie Mac recognizes the measurable impact of green financing tools to support the affordability and sustainability of housing for American families. We are pleased to be recognized by the Climate Bonds Initiative for our work to support green housing finance”. 


Andrew P. Power, Chief Financial Officer, Digital Realty:

"Digital Realty is honoured to receive the 2020 Largest Financial Corporate Green Bond award from Climate Bonds Initiative.  Investors have shown a clear preference for securities with a commitment to sustainable investment, and the green bond market offers an efficient means of aligning our financing strategy with our corporate sustainability objectives.” 


Björn Bätge, Head of Global Markets, Volkswagen:

“Volkswagen Group has tripled the unit sales of e-vehicles in 2020 and we were able to reduce our CO2 fleet average in the EU by around 20 percent. We are convinced that the battery-electric drive is, for the foreseeable future, the solution for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Green Bond is one of the key instruments to consistently link our corporate objective of carbon neutrality in 2050 with our financing strategy.”


Heather Lang, Executive Director, Sustainable Finance Solutions, Sustainalytics:

“Sustainalytics is honoured to be recognized by the Climate Bonds Initiative as the Largest Verifier for Certified Climate Bonds. With more Climate Bonds Certified bond issuance in the market, our team is proud to contribute to the continuous uptake of the Climate Bonds Standard”


Harald Francke Lund, CEO, CICERO Shades of Green:

“CICERO Shades of Green is honoured to receive this award for Largest External Review Provider in 2020. Regulatory pressure and increasing financial sector focus on climate risk mean that the transparency we provide on the Shades of Green is increasingly relevant for investors.”


Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, Ghana:

“We are very honoured and proud to be a winner in the category of ‘Green Market Pioneer’. Ghana is committed to a sustainable and green environment and this affirms the Government’s determination to a transformational agenda for the country. This award will not only encourage us but will guide us for a more sustainable global environment.”


Dimitris Raptis, CEO of Globalworth Group:

“It’s a privilege to be granted the award Green Market Pioneer: Guernsey. Being recognized by the Climate Bonds Initiative for our Green Bond Program is a further confirmation of our strong environmental credentials and overall approach to sustainable development and contributing back to the communities in which we live and operate. ESG policies and solutions will continue to form a core part of Globalworth’s strategy going forward.”


Gaukhar Buribayeva, Chair of the Managing Board of ‘Damu’ Entrepreneurship Development Fund JSC:

“Successful debut issue of green bonds on AIX, facilitated by UNDP, introduced a new financial tool on the local market. Proceeds will support Kazakhstan’s SMEs through concessional financing involving commercial banks, inclined to reduce risks of investments in renewable energy. We hope that cooperation with UNDP and AIFC Green Finance Centre incites investment in renewable resources.”


Executive General Manager and Group Chief Business Officer at QNB, Mr. Yousef Mahmoud Al-Neama:

“QNB is honoured to receive this prestigious award in recognition of the performance and commitment the Group has demonstrated in supporting the development of a green bond market in the region, whilst attracting a more diversified and socially conscious base of investors. This achievement is also a testament that we are on the right path to support the transition to a low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy and provide our international investors further opportunity for sustainable investment.”


Dr. Mohamed Maait, Ministry of Finance of Egypt:

“The sovereign green bond programme will help us raise capital from investors who care for both environmental and financial returns.”


Gábor Gion, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Chairman of Steering Committee related to Hungary's Green Bond Framework:

“Our government acts on the Act XLIV of 2020 on Climate Protection approved by the Parliament in June 2020 and implements wide and overreaching climate, energy and environmental policies to transition the country to a low-carbon and environment-friendly economy, aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The inaugural Green Bond Framework of Hungary and the Green Bonds issued are crucial steps towards fighting climate change and biodiversity loss.”


Patricia Mongkhonvanit, Director-General, Public Debt Management Office, Thailand:

“We would like to thank the Climate Bonds Initiative for this award in recognition of the Kingdom of Thailand’s inaugural sustainability bond, the first of its kind in ASEAN. Our sustainability bond was issued to further strengthen the Royal Thai Government’s commitment to tackle climate change and social issues. We appreciate the support from all stakeholders and investors for their active participation. We remain committed to frequent issuance of the Kingdom of Thailand’s sustainability bond not only to promote liquidity in the market but also to ensure continued efforts in joining the international community to address these pressing issues.”


Juan Rajlin, Treasurer, Alphabet:

“Our sustainability bond is an important component of our long-term commitment to environmental and social initiatives, including combating climate change, promoting racial equity and affordable housing, and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are honoured to be recognized by Climate Bonds Initiative and are looking forward to seeing this asset class continue to develop across issuers and asset owners.”


Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of Budget and Administration, European Union:

“We are delighted to receive this Climate Bonds award. It demonstrates the EU's long-term commitment to sustainable financing. To address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission is becoming one of the largest debt issuers in the EU. The SURE issuances so far have been a great success and I expect the same high interest in our NextGenerationEU bonds. All this serves to support the EU’s sustainable recovery and its urgently needed modernisation via the green and digital transition.”


Isabelle Laurent, Deputy Treasurer and Head of Funding at EBRD:

“We are delighted to receive the award for Transition Bond of the Year. Through the Green Transition Bond programme, we introduced in 2019, we have been keen to highlight the importance EBRD places on investments in the hard to abate sectors that will be critical to achieving the Paris goals.” 


Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative:

“Congratulations to all recipients recognised in this year’s Awards. They are at the forefront of shifting capital towards low carbon solutions and the larger transition to net-zero, providing real economy examples of where investment should be going. Particularly welcome are first time and pioneering issuers from emerging and developing economies, taking a leading role and adding depth and diversity to global and regional markets.” 

“In late 2020 we achieved the long-awaited global milestone of an overall cumulative $1trillion in green investment. But the climate crisis and its growing impacts continue to outstrip our efforts on emissions reduction. Acceleration to $1trillion in annual green investment is the next big goal for global finance and governments. A decisive tilting of 2020s capital flows into green recovery, resilience, adaptation and transition is now required.”



For more information, please contact: 

Leena Fatin

Communications and Digital Manager 

Climate Bonds Initiative (London) 


M +44 (0) 7593 320198


Notes for journalists:

About Climate Bonds Initiative: The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy. For more information, please visit or visit our Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram Facebook and YouTube, #CBA21. 

The Climate Bonds Awards: The Awards recognise organisations who through their actions at corporate, national or regional levels have demonstrated the potential of green finance, energised the market and have led by positive example.

Launched in 2016 as the Green Bond Pioneer Awards in an inaugural partnership with the London Stock Exchange Group, the Climate Bonds Awards are widely acknowledged as the foremost international recognition in green finance.

Acknowledgements: The 6th Annual Climate Bonds Awards have been generously supported by IFC- GB TAP  and Ashurst


2016 – 2020 Green Bond Pioneer Awards: 

Additional details of 2016 Inaugural Award recipients are here

Additional details of 2017 Award recipients are here.

Additional details of 2018 Award recipients are here

Additional details of 2019 Award recipients are here.

Additional details of 2020 Award recipients are here.




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