IFC sees green bond scope in India, says project identification only issue

The projects he identified include development of urban transportation, waste-to-energy, water treatment and green building

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) sees immense opportunities to finance projects through green bonds in India especially in areas like urban transportation, waste-to-energy and water treatment, its senior official said here Tuesday.

"Opportunities in India are huge. Look at infrastructure and amount of urbanisation and the level of agriculture (projects)," said Vivek Pathak, Director for East Asia & Pacific Department at the IFC.

The projects he identified include development of urban transportation, waste-to-energy, water treatment and green building.

Noting that more and more financial institutions have been issuing green bonds in India, he said: "There is increasing awareness. The solar and wind sector have done very well in India and I think the opportunities are going to be huge in India."

However, identifying such projects for green bonds is a challenge everywhere and India is no different, he told reporters.

Pathak was talking on the sidelines of the creation of the first global green bond fund by IFC and the HSBC Global Asset Management.

The fund targets "real economy" issues in emerging markets like increasing access to climate finance and promoting the further development of green bond markets.

The Real Economy Green Investment Opportunity (REGIO) Fund is expected to catalyse at least $500 million to $700 million in multilateral and private sector capital to support well-diversified climate-smart investments in developing countries around the world, largely through green bonds issued by non-financial companies.

IFC, a World Bank member, will provide a $100 million anchor investment in the fund, with $75 million from HSBC.

"This innovative fund will provide new opportunities for an important class of borrowers in green bond markets," added IFC CEO Philippe Le Houerou.

The fund will have a total life of up to 15 years, including a seven-year investment period.

"The capital raised by REGIO will make a vital contribution to the fight against climate change and further promote sustainability-oriented capital markets," Le Houerou said.

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