The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, expects to issue at least $1 billion in green bonds a year to support private sector investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate-friendly sectors.
Proceeds from the bonds are earmarked for projects that reduce greenhouse emissions–for example, by rehabilitating power plants and transmission facilities, installing solar and wind power, and providing funding for new technologies that result in significant reductions in emissions.
“Climate change is one of the most urgent development challenges of our time, and only markets can mobilize the investment necessary for mitigation and adaptation,” said IFC EVP and CEO Jin-Yong Cai.
Cai said: “We are ramping up our Green Bond program to meet the growing demand for this asset class and enable investors to support climate-smart investment in developing countries.”
According to the International Energy Agency, $5 trillion of investment is needed worldwide by 2020 in renewable power, energy efficiency, and cleaner transportation to contain rising global temperatures.
The United Nations estimates that 80 percent of the capital needed to address climate change will come from the private sector.
Green bonds, also known as climate bonds, are a relatively new asset class. IFC has issued $2.2 billion in green bonds since 2011. Criteria for the use of IFC Green Bonds proceeds are certified CICERO, an independent research center associated with the University of Oslo.
In February, IFC issued a $1 billion green bond, the largest climate-friendly issuance to date. The three-year bond was a benchmark issue available to investors globally. The bond was 80 percent oversubscribed and sized to address the demand from an increasing number of investors interested in climate-related opportunities.
Addressing climate change is a strategic focus for IFC. In 2012, IFC invested $1.6 billion in climate-related investments–more than 10 percent of the institution’s overall commitments for the year.
About 70 percent of IFC’s investments in the power sector involved energy efficiency and renewable energy. By the year 2015, IFC expects to double its climate-related investments to roughly $3 billion per year.
The IFC has promised to assist more entrepreneurs in Nigeria to grow.
The Country Manager of IFC for Nigeria, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, explained that his corporation’s assistance to entrepreneurs would go a long way in reducing unemployment in the country.
He said: “One of IFC’s strategic priorities is supporting small and medium enterprises so that they can create jobs and reduce poverty in developing countries.”