In the face of global climate change and the worst drought in living memory, the City of Cape Town issued South Africa’s first true green bond last month. The proceeds of the hugely successful issuance will be used to fund and refinance green projects in the city, including its emergency water-supply schemes designed to address the severe water shortage that has led to the city’s dams reaching worryingly low levels.  The city’s green bond is a first in South Africa and the only green bond in the country to be accredited by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a global organisation that promotes investment in climate-change projects and provides green bond certification. It is also the only green bond in South Africa certified by ratings agency Moody’s as GB1, which it describes as “excellent”. The formal accreditation of green bonds is not the norm nor a listing requirement in the South African bond market, a shortcoming that may result in so-called “green-washing”. The issue of gree...

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