That’s according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, which said the figure of $29.5 billion (£23bn) was largely due to a $7.5 billion (£5.9bn) offering from France in January.
The investment firm said the country’s green bond was the largest to date and suggested it bodes well for additional sovereign issuance.
It predicts if the current trend continues, green bond issuance will total nearly $120 billion (£93.7bn) for the year, eclipsing the record of $93.4 billion (£72.9bn) in 2016.
Despite this, Chinese issuance dropped by 67% to $2.6 billion (£2bn) in 2017, compared to the same period the previous year.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects made up the bulk of project types, each accounting for 21% of total issuance.
Clean transportation was the third most popular sector at 14%.
Henry Shilling, Report Author and Moody’s Senior Vice President, said: “Volume in the first quarter was the second largest ever for a quarter, trailing only the $30.2 billion (£23.6bn) in the fourth quarter of 2016.”