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Seven need-to-know impact investing and sustainable finance stories for Jan. 5

Here’s a roundup of stories on impact investing and sustainable finance as of Jan. 5 compiled by Equities staff.

  1. Corporate sustainable bond issuance: Investment bank Barclays forecasts a rebound in corporate sustainable bond issuance in 2024, following a two-year slump, indicating a growing interest in sustainable finance initiatives​​, according to Environmental Finance.
  2. Investment in biological pest control: M&G Investments said it invested €75 million ($82 million) in Biobest, a biological pest and disease control business, aligning with sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation efforts​​.
  3. World Bank’s sustainable development bond: The World Bank announced it’s priced a GBP 1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) 5-year Sustainable Development Bond, marking a significant investment in sustainable development solutions​​. Additionally, the World Bank also said it’s priced a $5 billion 7-year Sustainable Development Bond, reflecting robust investor demand for sustainable finance​​.
  4. Lack of climate action in finance: Banks, asset managers, and pension funds have been criticized for insufficient action in financing the energy transition, with the energy-supply banking ratio (ESBR) falling short of targets, according to Ethical Markets​​. Progress by the asset management industry on the climate transition has worsened, with a decrease in effective climate stewardship​​. Pension funds are also under scrutiny for downplaying climate risks​​.
  5. Transition finance trends: Transition finance is gaining traction, with various markets, including Japan, planning to release transition finance bonds. Efforts to scale just transition financing are also growing​​, according to RMI.
  6. Blended finance and public funding: Blended finance, a highlight of COP28, faces challenges in implementation despite increasing public funding commitments, according to RMI. The World Bank and other institutions have pledged significant funding towards climate projects, and the Altérra climate fund represents a major investment in so-called catalytic capital​​.
  7. Equities News’ new focus: Paula DeLaurentis, CEO of Equities, wrote an open letter announcing the financial website’s foray into impact investing, sustainable finance and ESG. “We’re a mission-oriented community aiming to empower individuals like you and me to invest in what truly matters and to forge a positive path forward,” she wrote. DeLaurentis said she’s inviting readers to advise and give input as the company “cultivate[s] a supportive community that champions both social and environmental causes alongside financial success.”