Transforming Green Bond Markets: Using Financial Innovation and Technology to Expand Green Bond Issuance in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Sep 2019
Despite exhibiting remarkable growth, the green bond market still represents less than 1 percent of the global bond market. This paper identifies two challenges that might slow the adoption of green bonds and presents a menu of responses that policymakers, regulators, and public financial institutions can use to offset these challenges. Specifically, it explores two key dimensions: (i) the risk profile of the green bond instrument and (ii) the transaction costs associated with issuance of and reporting on green bonds. New approaches to risk design and technology-based approaches are essential to untap the potential of green bond markets, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean and other developing regions. The incorporation of financial mechanisms such as covered bonds and guarantees can adequately address the risk of the issues, making the market more attractive for investors. Enhanced regulation and education and leveraging efficiencies of new technologies such as distributed ledger technologies can substantially reduce monitoring and reporting costs, while improving transparency in the use of proceeds and market integrity.