SDG-linked Debt Instruments for the Clean Energy Sector: Moving Beyond the Climate Thematic Label

May 17th, 2021


In the past decade, the green bond (or more generally the concept of green financing) market has emerged and grown. It gave the investors the opportunity to align their pursuit for financial returns with their pursuit for environmental benefit by ascertaining that the investment proceeds get channeled through to green assets – e.g. clean energy assets. However, there are other equally important development issues that need to be addressed – sustainable development goals (SDGs) - which many countries have committed to prioritize and achieve by 2030. Experts estimate that roughly $5 – 7 trillion financing is needed to develop sustainable infrastructure. The ability to catalyze financing for these investments will be key to achieve these ambitious sustainable development agendas.

Governments, private institutions, and individual investors have increasingly become more conscious of environmental, social, and governance issues that hinder economic transformation and sustainable growth. With recent developments in international policies creating awareness for and guidance in the development and design of infrastructure aimed at achieving SDGs, capital markets will inevitably want to move one step further to support projects that aim to achieve positive environmental and social impacts.


The objective is to explore new thematic financing in clean energy sector.  As we started to see new thematic bonds/financings, beyond green, that aim to address various social themes (e.g. blue bond), the workshop explores what thematic financing concept (e.g. gender, governance, etc) could be effective in clean energy space, and how it can be implemented.  This would provide the investors to pursue ‘financial return + green + X’.  Subject experts were invited to provide insights for ADB and ACEF participants through a panel discussion. 

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