The FINANCIAL — The World Bank has raised more than US$660 million in Sustainable Development Bonds highlighting the critical role of ocean and water resources. Specifically, the World Bank focused on two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).
A range of institutional and retail investors globally have supported the initiative since it was launched in August. Ten bonds in five currencies have been issued under the initiative to date, with tenors ranging from 2 to 43 years. Investors including Capitulum Asset Management, Global Evolution, HSBC INKA / Swiss Life, Storebrand, and Sydbank all voiced strong support for the strategic focus on SDG 14 and SDG 6. The World Bank will continue to issue bonds under the initiative as part of a strategic effort to highlight SDG 14 and SDG 6.
Freshwater and marine ecosystems cover more than three-quarters of the earth’s surface and provide critical services—from habitats and drinking water, to contributing to climate control, while also providing nutrition, jobs and livelihoods. The World Bank, as the biggest multilateral funder for ocean and water projects in developing countries, is committed to working with countries to ensure access to safe and clean water and for the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources. This includes avoiding pollution reaching oceans through better waste management.
The World Bank has US$37 billion in water-related investments and an oceans-related portfolio of more than $4 billion—including more than $550 million in projects that contribute to reducing marine pollution in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. The World Bank is also supporting countries as they help make their coastal communities more resilient, often in the face of dramatically shrinking coastlines; while also focusing on improving fisheries management in all regions where the Bank works.
In terms of fresh water resources, the World Bank is committed to achieving “A Water-Secure World for All” where water is managed and shared effectively and sustainable to support agriculture, manufacturing, job creation, households, and the environment. In a water-secure world, countries can reduce and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate on water, while consuming it efficiently. In the last two years, the World Bank helped more than 47 million people access safer water and provided more than 24 million people with access to better sanitation.
The thematic focus on SDGs 14 and 6 follows World Bank Sustainable Bonds launched earlier this year while focusing on gender and health and nutrition. With annual issuances between US$50-US$60 billion annually, all World Bank bonds support the financing of programs that support the Sustainable Development Goals.
World Bank bonds are aligned with the sustainability bond guidelines published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). The World Bank is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles. A key priority for the World Bank’s engagement in the capital markets is to build strategic partnerships with investors to raise awareness for the role of private sector financing in development.