ESG bond and loan issuance up 89% in 2021

The AFME’s latest European ESG Finance report for 2021 has shown an 89% increase in ESG bond and loan issuance on 2020.

Total ESG bond and loan issuance in 2021 stood at €749.8bn compared with €396.4bn in 2020, an annual growth of 89%. ESG bonds and loans include ESG-labelled bonds, sustainable-linked bonds, transition bonds, green-linked loans and sustainable-linked loans.

ESG bond issuance represented 20.2% of total European bond issuance during 2021, up from 9.3% in 2020. AFME says ESG bond Issuance in 2021 largely benefited from sovereign and supranational issuers entering the market.

Global ESG funds showed an annual growth of 12% but at a slower growth pace than that observed in 2020 (28%) and 2019 (21%). Funds with an ESG mandate stood at $6.33tn as of Q4 2021, a $0.7tn increase from $5.63 tn in Q4 2020. ESG equity funds continue to be the largest fund asset class with 50.3% of total ESG funds.