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FT: Investors Embrace 'Green Bonds' Amid Trump Environmental Actions

FT: Investors Embrace 'Green Bonds' Amid Trump Environmental Actions

By    |   Thursday, 06 April 2017 11:19 AM

Investors reportedly are starting to flock to environmentally friendly “green bonds” despite President Donald Trump’s dismantling of environmental regulations.

Green bonds “are debt vehicles that finance environmentally friendly projects such as cleaner waste treatment systems and the development of renewable energy technology,” the Financial Times explained.

Moody’s rating agency estimates that nearly $93 billion of such bonds were issued around the world in 2016, up 120 percent from the year before,

In the U.S., investors snapped up nearly $15 billion of the bonds, more than 55 percent higher than a year earlier.

Moody’s forecasts that $206 billion of green bonds will be issued globally in 2017, with $23 billion of that in America.

“No matter what the political environment might be in Washington, green bonds have a lot of momentum already built up at the local level,” Beijia Ma, an analyst at Merrill Lynch who tracks this emerging marketplace, told the FT.

Meanwhile, the debate on the environment on the global economy is only, for lack of better terms and apologies for the pun, heating up.

Environmental crimes are rising due to weak laws and enforcement, costing the global economy as much as a record $258 billion, about a quarter more than previously estimated, the United Nations Environment Program and Interpol said.

The groups said the proceeds from crimes ranging from illegal logging to the trafficking of hazardous waste and illicit gold mining are funding rebel groups and criminal syndicates. The scourge includes a rise in the poaching of elephants and rhinos, along with white-collar crimes, such as exploiting the carbon credit market, Bloomberg reported.

UNEP and Interpol said environmental crimes now cost between $91 billion and $258 billion, compared with a 2014 estimate of $70 billion to $213 billion.

“The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 percent per year,” growing two to three times faster than global economic output, they said in an e-mailed statement.

To be sure, Trump’s environmental stance has ruffled feathers across the country.

Ten states led by Democrats and a handful of national environmental groups have sued Trump’s administration, claiming it’s violating federal law by delaying energy-efficiency standards intended to save Americans almost $24 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Six rules for ceiling fans, walk-in coolers and other consumer products that are being blocked have been projected to slash emissions of carbon dioxide by 292 million tons, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday in a statement.

The rules created under former President Barack Obama’s administration were to go into effect on March 20, but they were delayed until Sept. 30 without explanation. The delay is one of numerous steps the Trump administration has taken to reverse Obama’s environmental legacy.

"This is yet another example of how the Trump administration’s polluter-first energy policy has real and harmful impacts on the public health, environment -- and pocketbooks -- of New Yorkers,” Schneiderman, who’s leading the coalition suing the U.S. Department of Energy, said in a statement.

(Newsmax wires services the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report).

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Big companies are tapping the debt market for renewable energy projects
Investors, Green, Bonds, Trump, Environment
Thursday, 06 April 2017 11:19 AM
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