Global sustainable bond issuance hits record $1 trillion in 2021

The latest data points to an increased appetite for ESG-focused funding, but highlights hard-to-address concerns around greenwashing as a threat to the future development of sustainable finance.

The global issuance of sustainable bonds including green, social and sustainability-linked bonds reached a record height of over $1 trillion in 2021, and represented 10% of the year’s overall debt capital market, data by Refinitiv shows.

Last year also saw the rise in popularity of social bonds, which are designed for projects that achieve positive social outcomes, such as basic infrastructure, affordable housing and access to essential services.

“Social bonds boomed in 2020 and 2021 as nations and corporate issuers sought to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with focus on issues such as access to healthcare and tackling unemployment. During the first quarter of 2021, global social...

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