Monday, December 4, 2017

California Leads USA in Muni Green Bond Issues

As recently discussed in the California Green Finance blog (here), California government agencies are issuing green bonds at a record pace.  More green bonds have been sold in 2017 than all prior years combined and the total for all green bonds issued by California governments has topped $5 billion.

Newly released data from the Climate Bonds Initiative shows that California leads all other states on green bond issues that have closed, followed closely by New York State at $4.73 billion, Massachusetts at $2.83 billion, and Washington State at $1.9 billion, with Connecticut, Indiana, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois & Ohio all under $1 billion (Top 10 ranking below). 

Cumulative Amount Issued (USDbn)
Top 10 Rank Nov 2017
New York

California green issuers ranges from large institutions such as the California Infrastructure Bank and the City of Los Angeles to school districts in Fremont and San Diego to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District.  The chart below shows the range of California issuers and the total of all green bonds they have issued.  The prior CalGreenFinance post showed the individual issues and the general project descriptions (here).

California Cumulative Muni Green Bond Data Through Nov, 2017

Total All Issuances
State of California IBank
City of Los Angeles
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority
California Health Facilities Financing Authority
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
State of California Treasurer's Office
East Bay Municipal Utility District
California Pollution Control Financing Authority
City and County of San Francisco
Los Angeles County Sanitation District
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego County Water Authority
Santa Monica Public Finance Authority
Midpeninsula Open Space District
Port of Los Angeles
Fremont Union High School District
City of Long Beach
Trinity Public Utilities District
City of Napa

A growing number of California issuers have also followed international best practice in gaining Climate Bonds Certification for their green issuance, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), SFPUC and Los Angeles MTA

California leads other state in green bond issues, but
New York has issued more CBI Certified green bonds

“California has long been a national standard bearer in areas ranging from advancing civil rights to protecting our natural resources," says State Treasurer John Chiang.  "In that same vein, the State of California and its municipalities lead the U.S. in the use of green bonds, raising more than $5 billion in affordable capital to both curb climate change and build critical infrastructure.  The achievement is laudable but not enough considering how the United States still lags behind Europe, Asia, and South America in taking advantage of climate-friendly green bonds to finance the conversion of a fossil-fuel based economy to a carbon-free alternative.”

State Treasurer John Chiang

“I am working to change that equation by hosting a major green bonds symposium in February," says Treasurer Chiang.  "I am assembling the nation’s foremost experts to come up with ways to turbocharge this innovative, new market, with an eye toward unlocking its latent potential to pay for billions of dollars in investments to protect our planet from global warming.”

More information on Treasurer Chiang's Green Bond Symposium can be found at:  Green Bond Symposium

“Capital flows are moving in the right direction from diverse municipal issuers of every size across the state," said Justine Leigh-Bell, Director of Market Development for the Climate Bonds Initiative. The focus on water, energy and waste is very encouraging. The challenge now is to increase the number of green issuers across the state and encourage repeat issuance.”

Justine Leigh-Bell of Climate Bonds Initiative

“Our previous data at the end of Quarter 3 had New York State in front, but California has just nudged ahead to reach the landmark $5 billion figure for municipal green bonds," said Leigh-Bell. "The foundation is there to lead US states again and be first to reach $10 billion. We expect the State Treasurer’s February 2018 Green Bonds Symposium and Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit later in 2018 will both provide sub national, national and international momentum around green investment to address climate change.”