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05/03/2012 02:09 PM     print story email story  

First US Green Bond Raises $500 Million News

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, raised $500 million in the first green bond in the US market.

The funds will be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries. 

"This bond will strengthen our ability to invest in innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that can help these countries confront climate change," says CEO Lars Thunell.

Funds raised from IFC green bonds are set aside in a separate account for investing exclusively in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate-related projects in developing countries. Through IFC green bonds, investors can directly support climate change-related projects in the developing world.

"The U.S.-dollar market is an integral part of our strategy to support the development of the private sector," says Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. "Green bond issues in the U.S. market have been rare, compared to Europe and Asia. IFC green bonds are an alternative investment opportunity for this market, offering both development impact and a safe investment vehicle of a top triple-A issuer."

Some of the investors are BlackRock, TIAA-CREF, California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. 

In 2011, IFC's climate-related investments totaled $1.7 billion.

Last year, State Street Global Advisors launched "High Quality Green Bonds," for investors who want fixed income returns while investing in climate change solutions.  

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