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Sustainable Debt Issuance Returns in Q1 2023

Sustainable bond issuance rebounded in the first quarter following a slowdown during second half of 2022, Moody’s has reported. Global issuance of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked (GSS+) bonds totalled US$254 billion in Q1 2023, up 36% from Q4 2022 and 10% year on year. GSS+ bond issuance accounted for more than 13% of global bond issuance in Q1 2023, comprising US$148 billion of green bonds, US$42 billion of social bonds, US$43 billion of sustainability bonds and US$21 billion of sustainability-linked bonds. The ratings agency expects issuance volumes “to continue on a similar trajectory”, forecasting total GSS+ issuance to reach US$950 billion in 2023. Moody’s noted supply from a wide range of sovereign issuers during Q1 as well as regulatory and industry developments supportive of increased quality, such as political agreement on the EU Green Bond Standard. Separately, industry body AFME reported that European ESG bond and loan issuance rose 10.% in Q1 2023, accumulating €156 billion in proceeds. The increase was “predominantly driven” by ESG-labelled bonds which accumulated €116 billion in proceeds, the second largest quarterly issued amount on record. Green bond issuance grew 69.6% year on year, driven by the corporate and supranational sectors, while sustainable-linked bond issuance fell 40.1% annually, rising 26.0% quarter on quarter.

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