Nedbank's recent issuing of a so-called green bond taps into a growing trend globally towards backing companies seeking solutions to the planet’s impending climate catastrophe. This comes as investing based on environmental, social and governance more broadly has moved from the margins. It has increasingly become less about charity and being seen to be good and more about survival, partly as a result of pressure. Nowadays major figures in finance, such as Bank of England governor Mark Carney are as likely to warn about the dangers of climate change as green activists. That has spawned a market for institutions willing to fund projects that serve to protect the planet, while at the same time generating returns for themselves. With just R5.1bn in three securities, the JSE Green Bonds Segment is still a tiny niche in the almost R3-trillion local debt market. That may also be an indication of potential growth as SA catches up with global trends. 

From virtually nothing in 2007...

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