Following a record third quarter, the market for sustainability bonds is on pace to reach about $425 billion in issuance this year, Moody’s Investors Service forecasts. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
In a new report, the rating agency said global issuance of sustainability bonds (including green and social, among others) was up 30% in the third quarter to a record $127.3 billion.
Following a weak first half, green bond issuance surged to $72.3 billion in the third quarter, Moody’s said.
Social and sustainability bonds also hit record levels for the second consecutive quarter, with $28.1 billion and $26.9 billion in issuance, respectively, it said.
Moody’s noted that sovereign sustainable bonds, in particular, have generated strong growth.
A total of $33.1 billion in sovereign sustainable bonds was issued through the first nine months of 2020, up from $21.8 billion for the full year 2019.
After the strong third quarter, Moody’s is now predicting that $250 billion in green bonds will be issued in 2020. Total sustainable bond issuance is now expected to reach $425 billion.
“While issuers continued to primarily use these labelled bonds to finance their coronavirus pandemic response efforts, a growing number of companies employed such instruments to showcase their broader sustainability goals, suggesting continued growth of sustainable bonds beyond the pandemic,” Moody’s said.