Old Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park and Winnipeg River

The global green bond market is on track for a record year, according to a new report from National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF).

Through the first eight months of 2019, global green bond issuance reached US$150.4 billion, which is well ahead of the pace for the past couple of years, NBF reported.

Issuance activity through August is up by about 50% from the same period last year, and up by 70% compared with 2017, the bank noted. This year’s total is also almost triple the amount issued over the same period in 2016.

NBF estimated that global issuance could reach around US$245 billion for the full year.

Canada’s green bond market was also quite active, the firm reports, with five firms issuing more than $3 billion worth of green bonds altogether from June through August.

The trend toward more green investment is expected to continue, given the range of initiatives — such as the report from Canada’s expert panel on sustainable finance, and the United Nations’ sustainable development principles — helping drive demand for responsible investments.

Moreover, society’s need for green finance is also growing.

“A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed a climate finance gap of ~US$2.5 trillion per year, something that would require scaling up the green bond market from billions to trillions,” National Bank noted.