Sustainability-linked bonds falter amid credibility concerns

Issuance of debt linked to companies’ climate promises has fallen but green bond market proves robust.

Sustainability-linked bonds falter amid credibility concerns
ESG investing has come under attack from some Republicans since the election of President Joe Biden, seen arriving on Air Force One for a 2022 climate speech © Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Impact investing is growing, but too slowly given the staggering annual funding gap of USD2.5 trillion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. And the greatest challenges for people and planet won’t stand for half measures. We need much, much more impact capital to increase prosperity and social progress for all, eliminate inequalities and injustices and preserve the planet.

That's why we've teamed up with the Financial Times for the second time to put impact in the big headlines and on the front pages. And to mobilise more mainstream capital for impact.


In an era of higher scrutiny for sustainable investing products, green bonds are proving to be the tried-and-tested sustainability choice for fixed income investors as more esoteric offerings falter.

Global green bond issuance has remained steady — the total in the first four months of this year was $232bn, equal to the issuance in the same period in 2023, according to a report from Morgan Stanley.

However, in the case of sustainability-linked bonds — a newer product that has come under fire from environmentalists — issuance was down 51 per cent in the first four months, compared with 2023, to just $12.5bn.