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Green bond market soars to new heights, but confusion over ‘greenness’ lingers Add to ...

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Green bonds have taken on a new sheen amid a surge in institutional investor interest and a heightened environmental focus among global governments, but the asset class is still wrestling with issues of transparency and standardization a decade after it was formed.

Issuance of this unique type of debt, sold by corporations and governments to back climate or environmental initiatives, more than doubled last year on a global basis to $82-billion, according to a new report from RBC Capital Markets. And that’s poised to accelerate even further as countries such as Canada, the U.S. and China launch infrastructure building and climate initiatives. At the same time, large institutional investors including major Canadian pension funds have said that they will increasingly be sizing up their potential investment targets’ climate risks, and some have growing pools of capital earmarked for green investments.

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