A rise in issuances, an increasingly diverse issuer base and the development of guiding principles have all contributed to the rise of green bonds. But, as they become more investor friendly, advocates of such products are keen to ensure that they remain environmentally friendly, too.
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A groundswell of support for green finance means headway is being made in the transition to a low-carbon economy, with new sustainable models of finance, the issuance of green bonds and initiatives to level the playing field among banks.
When it comes to the issue of global warming, a carbon tax that forces all sides to put their money where their mouth is on the futures market could help to resolve a long-running debate.
Private equity firms have cultivated greater interest in renewable energy during the past few years and with many governments paying more attention to renewables, offering subsidies to encourage investment in the sector, it appears their timing could not have been better. But can the pace of growth be maintained?
A year that began with confidence-rattling fraud now heads towards a new emissions credit supply phase, updated green industry incentives and cautious hope for regional and global emissions targets.
The accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami has led many countries to slow down or cease their nuclear energy programmes.
Sir David King, former chief scientific advisor to the UK government, believes the UK's policy-makers and financiers fail to support its promising low-carbon sector. The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, which he heads, is working to change that.