The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development includes a comprehensive developmental agenda for India by integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions. The Economic Survey for FY 2020-21, which was presented in Parliament in January this year, laid emphasis on this approach and asked for achieving equity not only across nations and within the nations – but also across and within the generations, thereby countering the iniquitous impact of COVID-19 pandemic too.
The Economic Survey highlighted the importance of sustainable financing to meet the government’s development priorities. It mentioned that India is the second largest Green Bond market among the emerging markets after China. With a view to giving a push to Green Bonds issuances in India, in 2017, SEBI issued guidelines on Green Bonds including listing of Green Bonds on the Indian stock exchanges.
As of 24th December, 2020, eight ESG mutual funds (funds whose asset allocation mostly includes shares and bonds of companies that are evaluated based on the factors of Environmental, Social and Governance) were launched in India.
The UK in partnership with Italy will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31st October – 12th November 2021. So, this is the right time to assess our preparation, planning and progress. In short, that is evident from a recent IEEFA research report that states, “Green Bonds have become a key financial instrument for mobilising cost-effective foreign debt capital into the Indian renewables market. Since 2016 Indian corporates and financial institutions have raised around US$14.43bn through Green Bonds as per BNEF data. In 2021 to-date, Indian companies have attracted US$4bn in Green Bonds, already beating the previous record of US$3.43bn in cumulative Green Bond issuance in 2017.”
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