Corporate borrowers are a ‘driving force’ in the market for green bonds, according to a report by Standard and Poor’s Rating services.
Green bonds are used to fund green projects such as renewable energy in order to combat climate change.
Borrowers as diverse as Toyota, Unilever and Bangchak Petroleum PLC have sold green bonds.
The paper said wind turbine manufacturer Vestas issued a seven-year €500 (£360) million bond in March, which was the first bond in the European corporate credit markets of this year.
It was also the first corporate green bond sold by a company dedicated exclusively to wind energy.
The report states: “The issuing of corporate green bonds could reach $30 billion (£20bn) this year.” This is nearly 50% more than the $19.1 billion (£12.6bn) raised since the market emerged at the beginning of last year.
The positive outlook was echoed by the international not-for-profit investment body Climate Bonds Initiative. They predict total green bond issuance, not just from corporate borrowers, has a “good chance” of reaching $100 billion (£66bn) in 2015.
The report suggests China could be the biggest driver as it has “several promising areas for growth”, where the green bond market could grow a lot, “as Beijing steps up its anti-pollution drive and investment in renewable energy.”
China boasts the world’s third-largest bond market and around $7.8 billion (£5.1bn) in outstanding Chinese corporate bonds are linked to green themes, according to Climate Bonds Initiative.