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Climate Bonds Initiative Publishes Annual Report

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Today the Climate Bonds Initiative published its fifth annual analysis of the climate-aligned bond universe. The report, Bonds and Climate Change: that State of the Market in 2016, finds and measures bonds that being used to fund low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure. The report studies green bonds and bonds that are financing climate solutions but do not have an official label.

The report’s key findings include:

  • The climate-aligned bonds universe now stands at $694bn outstanding – A jump of $96bn (16%) from the 2015 figure.  This total is comprised of unlabelled climate-aligned bonds at $576bn and labelled green bonds at $118bn.
  • The universe is made up of over 3,590 bonds (issued from Jan 2005 to May 2016) from 780 individual issuers across transport, energy, buildings and industry, water, waste and pollution and agriculture and forestry.
  • In the climate-aligned bond universe, the Chinese RMB is the dominant currency (with 35% of the total amount outstanding), followed by the US dollar (24%) and the Euro (16%).
  • 78% of the universe is investment grade; the majority of bonds have tenors of 10 years or more; the majority are also government-backed.
  • The $96bn increase on 2015 includes $94bn in new bonds from existing issuers, plus $85bn from new issuers minus $83bn of matured bonds and issuers that no longer meet our climate-aligned criteria.
  • Low carbon transport was the largest single sector, accounting for $464bn (67%) of the total climate aligned universe, followed by clean energy at $130bn (19%).
  • The remaining $97bn (14%) is drawn from Building and Industry, Agriculture and Forestry, Waste and Pollution, Water or Multi-Sector bonds; a small but welcome pointer towards more diversity in issuance.

During the research phase of the report, we analysed over 1,700 different issuers to discover those with over 95% of revenue derived from climate-aligned assets. Bonds from these issuers formed the data pool used in compiling the report.

The HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence commissioned State of the Market 2016, continuing their support from previous years.

Zoe Knight, Managing Director of Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, said: “The growth in size and depth of both the climate aligned and labelled green bonds is a positive for potential investors looking to lift their green exposure post the COP21 at Paris. It’s a sign of the scale and liquidity in the market and demonstrates the potential for future green investment.

“Encouragingly, the report shows that financing low carbon growth paths in the major emerging economies through green bonds has begun and with sound market frameworks, can undergo rapid growth.”

Sean Kidney, Climate Bonds CEO, said: “Bridging the climate finance gap doesn’t require complex new investment models.  The re-alignment of bond market activity with climate change and low emission goals will deliver a stable long term source of green investment. This report shows that the large scale harnessing of bonds and other forms of debt based capital towards climate and carbon goals is within reach.

“Green bond based capital to fund infrastructure projects are now an established model. As countries look to turn their INDC commitments into climate plans the report shows that green and climate resilient transport, urban development, water and energy projects are already being financed by green bonds and can be scaled up. The biggest challenge now is for policy makers and investors to develop models that simply accelerate the flow of investment.” 

Country Specific Findings: China & USA

China

China leads the top 10 countries for climate aligned bonds with $246bn of total issuance (36%) followed by the US ($136bn/16%) then the United Kingdom and France ($62bn 9% & $64bn 9% respectively).

Unlabelled issuance is dominated by China Railway Corporation (largest issuer with $194bn). This figure highlights the significance of bonds within the transport sector and demonstrates the continuing importance they will play in raising finance for low-carbon transportation.

Our collaboration with entities such as the CCDC, CECEP, NAFMII and Shanghai Stock Exchange has helped to identify more unlabelled domestic bonds

USA

At 16%, the USA is the second largest country of issuance. Burlington North Santa Fe is the largest issuer from within the USA, making up 17% of USA issuance alone. While issuers in the Energy theme tend to be much smaller, they are also more numerous with over 200 separate Energy issuers making up a total of $28bn issuance.

40% of the entire Water theme is made up of US issuers, primarily Municipal bonds which have been labelled as green bonds. USA-based issuers continue to drive the green labelled bond market, the USA being the largest single issuing country to date of labelled green bonds.

Environment

How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener

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Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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