The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is a labelling scheme for Entities, Assets and Debt Instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that Certified investments in climate mitigation are consistent with the 1.5owarming limit in the Paris Agreement. The Scheme is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets to prioritise investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Water Infrastructure

 Water Infrastructure Criteria

Water-related investments account for an enormous part of the capital assets of developed countries, and are a huge part of investments being undertaken in developing economies. In 2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showed the complex links between climate change and the distribution and supply of fresh water. Substantial infrastructure will be required to ensure clean and secure water supplies as the climate changes. A clear understanding of what sorts of investments are consistent with improving the climate resilience of water assets will help bond investors quickly determine the environmental credentials of water-related green bonds.


To see the whole list of Water Infrastructure Climate Bonds, visit our  Database of Certified Bonds

Timeline of development:
February 2021: Phase 3 Criteria released (desalination re-added)
February 2020: Water Desalination removed temporarily
May 2018: Full Criteria released
Dec 2017: public consultation closed
Oct 2017: Phase 2 Criteria public consultation opens

Oct 2016: Phase 1 Criteria released

Financing Water Resilience: Climate Bonds for China (China Water Risk)
Financing Natural Resilience: a New Wave (UNESCO)
China's Green Bonds Finance Climate Resilience (New Security Beat)

Water Fit to Finance (World Water Council)

The Water Infrastructure Criteria lay out the requirements that water infrastructure assets and/or projects must meet to be eligible for inclusion in a Certified Climate Bond. The bond must also meet the reporting and transparency requirements of the overarching Climate Bonds Standard in order to receive Certification.

Climate Bonds Water Infrastructure Criteria have been developed in three phases. Phase 1 Criteria covers engineered water infrastructure and Phase 2 Criteria covers nature-based and hybrid water infrastructure for such purposes as water collection, storage, treatment and distribution, flood protection and drought resilience. The addition of Desalination Criteria marks the third phase of Criteria development. These three phases now form the whole Criteria and there is no division between the three.


Development of Water Infrastructure Criteria

The development of the Water Infrastructure Criteria has been led by the Water Consortium, which consists of the Climate Bonds Initiative, Ceres, World Resources Institute (WRI), CDP and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), which is supported by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). To create the Criteria, the Water Consortium convened a Technical Working Group (TWG) and an Industry Working Group (IWG) with representatives from investors, public utilities, water NGOs and international policy bodies from around the world.

An additional Desalination TWG was convened to develop the desalination criteria added in phase 3 of Criteria development.


KR Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation have kindly supported this work.




Status: The Water Infrastructure Criteria is available for use in certifications. Get in contact with to start the certification process of your Water Infrastructure  green bond.

Financial instruments (bonds and loans) linked to these eligible assets, activities and entities will be aligned with the Paris Agreement and the goal of keeping global temperature rises to no more than 1.5oabove pre-industrial levels.

The new Water Infrastructure Criteria was launched on 22 May 2018. See the Media Release for more details. 

A Webinar ‘A Deeper Blue for Green Bonds: Water Investment Criteria for Nature-based Solutions’ was held on June 14 2018.

A webinar was held in November 2017 to launch the Phase 2 Public Consultation. The recording is below:


Water Infrastructure Criteria Technical Working Group Members


Lead Specialist


Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
Dr. John Matthews
Secretariat Coordinator



World Bank Group's Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice
Valerie Hickey
California Organized Investment Network (COIN)
Peter Streit
Investment Officer
European Investment Bank
Nancy Saich
Senior Advisor on Climate Action & Environment
Prof. Michael McClain
Professor of Ecohydrology
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Tatiana Fedotova
Manager, Water Cluster
University of North Carolina
Dr. Larry Band
Director, Institute for the Environment
Tetra Tech
Dan Christian
Senior Water Resource Engineer
Cees van de Guchte
Scenarios & Policy Analysis
American Water Works Association
Cynthia Lane
Director of Engineering & Technical Services
IUCN Global Water Programme
Dr. James Dalton
Coordinator Global Water Initiatives
UNEP-DHI Partnership
Maija Bertule
Programme Advisor
Alliance for Global Water Adaptation 
Christine Chan
Monika Freyman
Director, Water Program
World Resources Institute
Todd Gartner
Director, Natural Infrastructure Initiative
Stockholm International Water Institute
John Joyce
Chief Economist, Water Economics
Dr. Musonda Mumba
Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) Flagship Programme Coordinator
Water Innovator
Will Sarni

Earth Security Group
Margot Hill Clarvis
Senior Manager
Organica Water
Ari Raivetz

Stockholm International Water Institute
Torgny Holmgren
Executive Director

Charles River Watershed Association
Robert Zimmerman
Executive Director
Bioatlatlantic Institute
Marco Follador
Director of Adaptation Planning
University of California, Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Ted Grantham
Cooperative Extension Specialist in Climate & Water
Denver Water
Laurna Kaatz
Climate Scientist

Complutense University of Madrid
Dr. Elena Lopez-Gunn


2030 Water Resources Group (hosted by IFC)
Rochi Khemka
Regional Coordinator
Conservation International
Dave Hole
Senior Director, Global Synthesis
US Geological Survey
Janet Cushing
Deputy Chief, National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center
Independent Consultant
Benjamin Denjean

The Nature Conservancy
Jorge Gastelumendi
Senior Policy Advisor